I broke down yesterday and bought a Cuisinart Immersion Blender - ignoring the little voice in my head yelling save! save! save! Its not that these fun tools are particularly expensive... its that I already own a Cuisinart Mini Prep (small food processor), a hand held dual head egg beater thing, AND a normal run of the mill blender. I could make soup for an army brigade.
My first project with the new blender was to make a light tomato sauce. It turned out pretty well considering I made it in about 30 minutes. I threw it all together and ran to the gym for an hour and a half or so... unfortunately when i got back the pasta has soaked up too much of the sauce ... loosing the nice soupy texture .. but it was still quite delicious.
I took my favorite le crusette pot and heated olive oil. I added two cloves of garlic and a good hefty pinch of red pepper flakes and cooked them over moderately high heat until my kitchen smelled amazing. Then i added diced shallots and cook those down until soft. At some point in here i decided to add balsamic vinegar to get it a bit more rich. And then came the tomatoes. I added 3 large diced locally grown heirloom tomatoes that i got from my fresh produce delivery service (www.washingtonsgreengrocer.com).
I let all of this cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Once the tomatoes break down and become mushy you can puree the mix with the blender... I waited a bit longer and added fresh oregano and dried basil (oregano seems to grow well indoors - basil, sadly, does not) and salt and pepper. After some tastes, some sugar proved necessary as well. I tried to puree the sauce right in the le crusette but there wasn't enough sauce to fully immerse the blender and i now have tomato sauce all over the walls.
Once it was all blended I cooked it a little bit longer. I should have served it immediately with a little fresh parm but the gym got in the way ... also, an obvious tip that somehow evaded me: store the sauce separate from the noodles. My leftovers today were too dry!