Monday, March 19, 2012

recipe review: mozza basic tomato sauce

I don't know if you're like me, but I like easy meals.  I also like healthy meals that I have control over.  This poses a problem in a lot of areas of cooking.  For example, spaghetti sauce.  

Sure, I can buy Prego (my favorite) and throw together dinner in just a few minutes with some noodles and ground turkey or beef.  That's a great dinner, and one that my non-Weight Watching boyfriend will enjoy.  To him, this is not diet food.  For me, it's usually a 10 Points Plus dinner, and I usually add a salad or some soup in to round out the vegetables.  

But have you ever scoped out the back of the Prego jar?  Well I have, I'll share.  Prego is made by Campbells, a trusted American brand.  Luckily, they post everything!  So here you go: Ingredients in Prego Traditional Sauce

Tomato puree and diced tomatoes aren't bad, but the sugar and dehydrated onions and garlic slow me down.  I understand that the citric acid and natural flavorings aren't going to kill me, but some times I'd just like the real thing, not a flavoring.  

Just about the time that I was doubting my beloved Prego sauce, I received The Mozza Cookbook as a Christmas gift.  What a treat!  It's the answer to all things Italian!  What's that?  How do I make this?  Where in the world would I find one of those?  

I've sticky tabbed all over this book, and I've tested out a few recipes like their amazing Lemon Vinaigrette!  But now, I have to share their Basic Tomato Sauce.  Prego, meet your nemesis.  

Basic Tomato Sauce
makes 2 quarts, approximately 8 cups
8 servings
3 Points Plus

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced (about 2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or slivered
1/2 medium carrot, peeled and shredded (about 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 28 ounce cans whole peeled plum tomatoes, and their juices (San Marzano is recommended)

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, 1 tablespoon salt, and pepper; cook, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until softened but not browned, 1-2 minutes. Add carrot and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrot is soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often to break up tomatoes, until sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes.  Set a food mill over a large bowl. Pass sauce through food mill for the best texture (or purée sauce in a food processor). Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. 

This sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool completely, cover, and chill (or store airtight and freeze for up to 6 months).

It's that simple!  Most of these ingredients you have at home, I simply had to go purchase two cans of tomatoes.  The sauce tasted extremely bright and fresh to me, no sugar or preservatives here!  The added bonus is that instead of 4 Points Plus per cup of sauce (Prego), it is only 3 Points Plus per cup of sauce.  It isn't a huge difference, but it is full of good stuff.  That's a good reason to use it more often.  I'm not going to get rid of my Prego, believe me, Mr. Full Fat loves it too much.  

I'll just switch it out every once in a while for my Mozza sauce!  

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