Tomato paste sauce goes well with many dishes: meat, fish, vegetables, pasta and cereals. Plus, it’s easy to cook. We share a selection of simple recipes that will turn your gravy into the perfect sauce for any dish.
How to make the perfect gravy
When buying tomato paste, pay attention to the composition: it should contain only tomatoes and salt. It is acceptable to add a small amount of water. The product must not contain thickeners or other additives.
- High-quality tomato paste is granular in structure. A smooth texture is a sign that the composition contains starch.
- Tomato paste may be too acidic. Of course, at the end of cooking, you can balance the taste with sugar, but there is another way to reduce acidity – add sour cream, cottage cheese or cream. Dairy products compensate for excess acid.
To achieve a smooth, lump-free consistency, add the liquid gradually in small portions and mix thoroughly each time.
- If there is no ready-made broth at hand, take a bouillon cube.
- When introducing liquid into the tomato-flour mixture, it is convenient to use a whisk.
- If you are making gravy with onions, cut them into small cubes. So it will completely dissolve in the sauce during the cooking process.
- Black pepper is a traditional spice for tomato sauce, try to grind it just before cooking so that it gives the dish maximum flavor. Black pepper can be replaced with a little chili powder.
- It is best to cook the gravy in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. If heated too high, the bottom of the sauce may burn.
- During cooking, the gravy must be actively stirred, preventing it from burning.
- It is convenient to cool and store the gravy by covering it with food-grade polyethylene until contact with the surface, so that a film does not form during cooling.
1. Red base sauce
The basic recipe is based on roux flour, fried in butter with the addition of tomato paste. The base is diluted with broth to the desired consistency. The sauce is easy to upgrade by adding ingredients to your taste.
Gravy from tomato paste with flour comes from the Soviet recipe for red main sauce. His recipe is given in the 1953 book On Tasty and Healthy Food. The authors recommend straining the sauce through a sieve. The classic recipe, in addition to onions, includes carrots and parsley root. And at the end of cooking, it is recommended to season the sauce with 2 tablespoons of Madeira or port wine for flavor.
2. Creamy tomato sauce
A variation on the theme of the same tomato paste sauce, but without flour. The balance of taste is achieved by heavy cream. Such a sauce will perfectly complement any side dish – be it buckwheat porridge, rice, or pasta, turning it into a full-fledged second course.
3. Spicy garlic tomato sauce
The spiciness comes from fresh garlic. This gravy option successfully sets off fatty meat dishes, such as pork chops or steak. Alternatively, you can make this roux-based sauce with flour or a more dietary option without it.
4. Pork gravy
Tomato sauce can be cooked at the same time as the main course. For example, you can fry a pork shoulder with flour, add tomato paste, broth to it, and simmer everything together. A delicious dinner will be ready in half an hour. Pork can be replaced with liver, chicken thigh fillet, or other meat.
If you want to get a large volume of not very thick gravy, tomato paste can be replaced with high-quality tomato juice. There is no need to use broth in this recipe. You can stew chicken or other meat in tomato juice. The resulting sauce will successfully complement buckwheat, rice, or pasta.
5. Beef goulash with gravy
Another easy-to-make variation of gravy with meat. Goulash is the national Hungarian dish. In Soviet times, it was adapted and gained widespread popularity. Beef is a more dietary ingredient for meat gravy. It contains a lot of protein and is excellent for stewing in gravy.
6. Meatballs with tomato sauce
Minced meat stuffed with tomato sauce is a classic of the genre, familiar from childhood. It can be meatballs, meatballs, meatballs, hedgehogs, or steaks. Who likes what. You can also take any minced meat – from poultry and even vegetable for vegetarians. The main condition is that it should not be too fat. This dish is very easy to prepare and the result is very tender. An ideal side dish is mashed potatoes or crumbly buckwheat porridge.
7. Buckwheat with sausages and gravy
If there is very little time or no desire to bother with cooking meat, tomato sauce diversifies the most ordinary sausages. Sausages in tomato – a simple classic dish of Soviet cuisine. It was they who complemented Styopa Likhodeev’s breakfast in Bulgakov’s cult novel The Master and Margarita. Try it too!
Add a handful of chopped olives, some basil, and dried oregano and thyme to the gravy.