I am a big fan of Italian cuisine, and sauces form a crucial component for a majority of Italian dishes. They are used for dressing meat and vegetable dishes and also for dressing my evergreen favourite dish, Pasta. Two such famous mother sauces in Italian cuisine are Pesto Sauce and Tomato Sauce.
The key ingredients for Pesto Sauce is Parsley leaves, few Basil leaves, a handful of nuts (preferably walnuts or pinenuts),garlic cloves (2-3), salt to taste and a good helping of olive oil (mind you, no water!!).All these ingredients (minus the olive oil) are first coarsely grinded in a mixer and then olive oil is added little by little, till the herbs and the nuts are finely grinded. A key tip to get the pesto sauce with perfect consistency is to add a generous helping of olive oil. Olive oil when used sparingly, makes the pesto sauce sticky and hard. And don’t worry about the excess oil. Olive oil is edible and considered as good for health.
As for the tomato sauce, there are several ways to prepare it. I have used the classic combination of tomato and basil.First immerse the tomatoes in simmering water for 5 minutes, then remove and peel off the skin .Now dice the tomatoes and cook in a pan with little bit of olive oil. Add a handful of fresh basil leaves and thinly sliced garlic (optional). Add salt and sugar to taste. Cook for around 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.
Store the sauces in glass jars and refrigerate. They should stay fresh for at least a week.
If you have a busy lifestyle, then these homemade sauces are not just a money saver, but also a massive time saver. And when used as dressing for pasta, they taste just as yummy
I will soon be posting about my pasta recipes made using these sauces. Till then, Bon Apetite