I'm a saucy gal.
Well, in that, I LOVE sauce on my food. I like it when my food is covered in sauce, combined with sauce, cooked in sauce, marinated in sauce, or served alongside a bowl of sauce for dipping.
I. Love. Dipping.
(But not the gross way with tobacco that causes cheek cancer and involves spitting black crap into a clear bottle so everyone can see. Blech).
Not long ago, I shared that when I was a child, I loved when my mom made spaghetti. The smells. The anticipation for dinner. The best part for me, though, was mid-afternoon, when the sauce was ready, my mom would pour me a small bowl of sauce and let me sop it up with some bread. I believe this is where my carb addiction began. But I digress.
Anywhere I go, if I can get some sauce or dip to go alongside my meal, I am one happy lady. One of the best places to get dipping sauces, I have found, is at Thai Restaurants (my two local favorites being Jazmine Thai in West Chester, PA and Thai Place in Phoenixville, PA. Seriously. Cancel your dinner plans tonight and go to whichever one is closer. You won't regret it. I'll post a Local Flavor review on them both very soon! So stay tuned!). Thai meals have so many awesome dipping options: Peanut Sauce, Sweet and Sour sauce, Chile Sauce, Apricot Sauce. AUGH. I love it. So, when I order my standard meal at a Thai restaurant (always Chicken Sate and Vegetable Spring Rolls), I know that several sauces will be plated alongside my food. And I am in heaven.
Geez, I can't keep myself on topic today. I apologize. Sauce does this to me.
So, when we were visiting Amanda and Brad this past weekend, and Amanda made those scrumptious Beef and Quinoa Meatballs, she served it alongside a tomato cream sauce that was. to. die. for. Well, the sauce was on spaghetti. But I couldn't help but spoon some extra on the side of my plate to dip the meatballs in.
I mean, come on, they would have been lonely otherwise.
For whatever reason, this sauce makes the perfect italian dipping sauce for these meatballs (although, I've already eyed a sweet and sour sauce recipe I might tinker with to serve with them as well). I've promised all week I'd share with you the recipe - so here it is!
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Sauces and Marinades
Amanda's Tomato Cream Sauce
- olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 1 large carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (for a healthier substitute, Amanda used half-n-half. I used fat free evaporated skim milk)
Heat a pot over medium heat. Coat the bottom of the pot lightly with olive oil.
Chop onion, celery, and carrot. Saute them, along with garlic, in oil for 5 minutes, or until tender.
Add can of crushed tomatoes. Once it starts to bubble, turn the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes - 1 hour.
Puree the sauce in a blender (or in the same pot with an immersion blender). Return to pot, and add cream. Stir and cook 10 minutes, until heated through.
1) I didn't use celery, and it turned out fine.
2) Amanda used her food processor to finely chop the onions and carrots. Since she did this, she did not puree the sauce, since the particles were small enough. Her sauce turned out great, because it was slightly chunky and really flavorful.
3) Feel free to use less cream (or half-n-half or evaporated milk) if you only want a hint of cream. Or, use more, if you want a creamy blush sauce.
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Let me know how this turns out for you - or better yet, let me know YOUR version of tomato cream sauce!
Please feed my sauce and marinade obsession by sending me YOUR favorite sauce and marinade recipes to try and post for the rest of the community (it will become warm soon enough, and marinades are CHOICE for grilling. AUGH! Can't wait!)