BASIC TOMATO SAUCE
A good tomato sauce is the foundation for so many wonderful dishes. Here is a recipe for a basic tomato sauce that starts with onions, carrots, and celery cooked in a little olive oil, to which garlic, tomatoes, and seasonings are added. Simple and delicious. The sauce can be dressed up with mushrooms, sausage, olives, wine, and all manner of vegetables.
2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot or 1/2 large carrot, finely chopped
1 small stalk of celery, including the green tops, finely chopped
2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) dried basil or 2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh basil
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, including the juice, or 1 3/4 pound of fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 Tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large wide skillet on medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, and parsley. Stir to coat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened and cooked through. Remove cover and add the minced garlic. Increase heat to medium high. Cook garlic for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, including the juice, shredding them with your fingers if you are using canned whole tomatoes. Add the tomato paste and the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a low simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered until thickened, about 15 minutes.
Joan has used this recipe for over 40 years, and says it remainsan all-time favorite!
1 ½ lbs lean ground beef
1 onion finely chopped
1 28-oz can tomatoes
2 Cups (480mL) water
4 cubes beef broth
1 can tomato soup
4 carrots finely chopped
1 bay leaf
3 stalks celery
2 Tbsp (30mL) parsley
½ tsp (2.5mL) thyme
½ Cup (120mL) barley
black pepper to taste
Brown meat and onion. Drain. Combine all ingredients in large pot and simmer covered all day, or at least 2 hours.
A deliciously simple tomato pie, this recipe works best with fresh garden tomatoes. Serve this classic southern comfort food with a small salad. It’s just pie heaven on a plate.
Tip: Slice tomatoes in half and squeeze out excess juice to reduce water in the pie.
1 pre-made or homemade pie crust 1 large sweet onion, sliced 5 – 6 very fresh, preferably farmer’s market or garden tomatoes, sliced 1 Cup (240 mL) mayonnaise 1 Cup (240 mL) cheddar cheese 1 tsp (5 mL) dried Italian herbs 1 Cup (240 mL) sliced fresh mozzarella salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place piecrust in pie plate. Arrange onions in the bottom of the pie in a circular formation. Then arrange sliced tomatoes, around in a circle, and some in the middle. Add salt and pepper. Combine mayonnaise, cheddar cheese and dried Italian seasonings in a small bowl. Mix well and spoon over tomatoes, leaving about 1-inch gap in between mayo and the edge of the pie so you can still see the tomatoes. Place sliced cheese on top of mayonnaise layer. Bake for about 30 minutes, at 350º F, or until cheese is golden.
Tomatoes are a rich source of several nutrients. They are well known for their high vitamin C content, but also contain significant amounts of vitamins A, and B, as well as magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, chromium, folate, and fiber.
In recent years a particular nutrient found in abundance in tomatoes, lycopene, has made many headlines for its disease fighting abilities. Lycopene is well known as a preventer of prostate cancer, which makes tomatoes high on the healthy food list for men. Lycopene is not just important for men though. It is a powerful antioxidant, helping protect against cellular damage generally.
Studies in humans have shown that lycopene is protective against a variety of cancers including prostate, colorectal, breast, lung, endometrial, pancreatic, bladder, cervical and skin cancers. Lycopene has also been shown to help prevent heart disease and may slow the development of cataracts and macular degeneration, an age-related vision problem that can lead to blindness.
The vitamin B6, niacin, potassium and folate found in abundance in tomatoes are potent protectors against heart disease. Niacin can lower high cholesterol levels, and potassium has been shown to lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
The fiber in tomatoes also helps lower cholesterol levels, helps prevent colon cancer, and assists in keeping blood sugars at a low level.
Tomatoes are a source of riboflavin, which has been shown to be helpful for migraine sufferers, reducing the frequency of their headaches.
Lycopene is actually more available to the body when tomatoes are cooked.