© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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Recipe from: The Italian Cook Book by Maria Gentile, published by Italian Cook Book Co., © Copyright 1919
I found this recipe on the excellent Web site, Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project from Michigan State University. This site has an online collection of some of the most influential and important American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century. Digital images of the pages of each cookbook are available as well as full-text transcriptions and the ability to search within the books, across the collection, in order to find specific information.
Chop together, fine, one quarter of an onion, a clove of garlic, a piece of celery as long as your finger, a few bays leaves and just enought parsley. Season with a little oil, salt and pepper, cup up seven or eight tomatoes and put everything over the fire together. Stir it from time to time and when you see the juice condensing into a thin custard strain through a sieve, and it is ready for use.
When fresh tomatoes are not available the tomato paste may be used. This is a concentrated paste made from tomatoes and spices which is to be had, at all Italian grocers', now so numerous in all American cities. Thinned with water, it is a much used ingredient in Italian recipes. Catsup and concentrated tomato soup do not make satisfactory substitutes as they are too sweet in flavor. Of course canned tomatoes seasoned with salt and a bit of bay leaf, can always be used instead of fresh tomatoes.
This sauce serves many purposed. It is good on boiled meat; excellent to dress macaroni, spaghetti or other pastes which have been seasoned with butter and cheese, or on boiled rice seasoned in the same way (see Risotto). Mushrooms are a fine addition to it.
When using concentrated paste the following recipes will be found to give good results:
Chop one onion, one carrot and a celery stalk: form a little bunch of parsley and other aromatic greens and put everything to brown in a saucepan together with a piece of butter. Add a reasonable portion of tomato paste while cooking, stir and keep on a low fire until the sauce assumes the necessary consistency.