The Sauce Bible: Guide to the Saucier's Craft / Edition 1

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Overview

A complete contemporary reference on the subject of stocks and sauces, including complete instructions for creating arabesques' of sauce paintings. Features anecdotes, miniature biographies regarding several major and minor contributors to modern cooking techniques as well as historical and linguistic references to specific dishes. Numerous sauces and accompaniments created by other culinary professionals are also included.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471572282
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/28/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Table of Contents

A Brief History of Sauces.

The Importance of Cutlery.

Stocks.

Thickening Agents.

The Evolution of Foundation Sauces.

Brown Sauces.

Blond Sauces.

Cream (White) Sauces.

Butter Sauces.

Tomato Sauces and Pestos.

Cold Savory Sauces.

Compound Butters.

Marinades.

Accompaniments Outside the Realm of Sauce.

Dessert Sauces.

Sauce Arabesques.

Appendices.

Glossary of Culinary Terms and Techniques.

Index of Recipes.

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First Chapter

Chapter 10- Tomato Sauces and Pestos


Though tomato sauce is the fifth and last of the five mother sauces, there are only a handful of classical derivatives within this category, making it somewhat different than the other four foundation sauces. In addition, the traditional French tomato sauce (as originally set forth in Escoffier's Guide Culinaire) is thickened with a butter roux. Since tomato sauces are most commonly associated with Italian cuisine, and in particular, as an accompaniment for pasta, the French-style roux-thickened tomato sauce has always seemed to be a contradiction to the true nature of tomato sauces. Not only is the presence of flour a redundant use of carbohydrate, the very essence of a hearty tomato sauce is a purée of the ingredients.


In the late eighteenth century, a New York food importer claimed duty-free status on a shipment of tomatoes from the West Indies. He argued that since tomatoes were anatomically a fruit, as per the import regulations of that time, they were not subject to import fees. The customs agent disagreed, and imposed a 10 percent duty on the shipment, designated as vegetables. The case went as far as the New York State Supreme Court, which decided in favor of the customs agency, on the grounds of traditional linguistic usage. Tomatoes, held the majority, are "usually served at dinner, in, with, or after the soup, fish, or meat, which constitute the principal part of the repast, and not, like fruits, generally as dessert."


Armed with the mother sauce matrix we were taught in culinary school, we later learned of the multitude of regional tomato sauce varieties, illustrating that Italian sauces were not organized in any fashion similar to the French sauce system. In fact, Italian sauces (and cooking) are not organized at all, but disorganized, passionate, and emotionally intense, a reflection, perhaps, of the collective personality and temperament of one of the world's oldest cultures. This is not a negative evaluation of the Italian cooking traditions. Rather, it is an embrace of a uniquc history that has fostered a passionate and spontaneous style of preparing the foods indigenous to the Mediterranean, one of the most bountiful regions of the world.


Tomato sauces were not a part of Italian cookery until the sixteenth century, when the Spanish explorers returned from the New World with them. Europeans were slow to accept the strange and acidic fruit, and it did not become common fare in Italy before 1830. So for the more than two millennia before the introduction of the tomato, there is considerable ground to cover, in order to gain an understanding of Italian sauces and how they fit in with Italian cooking styles.


Tomatoes were unknown in Europe until the sixteenth century, when Spanish explorers returned from South America with them. Spain's possession of the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, from 1500 until 1700, explains how pomi dei moro (Italian for "Moor's apples") migrated to the Italian peninsula. In the late eighteenth century, when it was introduced into Paris, to a Frenchman's ears, "porno dei moro" sounded similar to pomme d'amour, hence the colloquial name "love apple."

 

A PHILOSOPHICAL WOK AT ITALIAN COOKERY

In commercial cookery, there are a handful of tomato sauces that until recently have been passed along as the sauces typical of Italian fare, at least as they were transported to the New World. But just as chow mein is unknown in China, the Spanish paella rarely includes seafood (unless in the style of Valencia), and the best French food is that of the peasantry (historically unable to afford cream or butter), we can conclude that the Italian fare we know in the United States may be corruptions of true Italian cuisine. Of course, this has changed considerably in the last generation, partially due to a proliferation of very fine and technically accurate cookbooks and recipe collections.

Nevertheless, in the restaurant trade, sauces Amatriciana, Bolognese, Marinara, and Napoletana have long been standard restaurant offerings, and will probably remain as such, in spite of the fact that even the true ingredients of these dishes are eternally disputed and debated by cookbook authors of Italian origin. Typically, Amatriciana was the tomato sauce made with pancetta (rolled up Italian bacon); Marinara was quick and simple plus some seafood (sometimes); Napoletana was simple or complex (depending on the recipe version and the region), but definitely didn't have meat; and Bolognese was the one with meat.

A further study of the true nature of Italian cookery uncovered another level of dishes, among them Linguine Vongole (clam sauce), Fettucine Alfredo (created at Alfredo's, a restaurant in Rome), Spaghetti Carbonara (the charcoal maker's spaghetti), and Pasta Primavera (with miniature spring vegetables). These dishes, like the common sauces, were also corruptions of their true nature. I cannot speak for Senior Alfredo, since his is a fairly modern addition to the Italian repertoire, and I haven't had the pleasure of dining at Alfredo's. But Spaghetti Carbonara is the charcoal maker's mainstay, a dish prepared in the mountains where the charcoal makers retreat for days at a time to carefully burn the mountain hardwoods, creating charcoal drawing utensils for the artists of the world. They bring with them essentially nonperishable ingredients which become a dish these artisans subsist on during their retreats—spaghetti, olive oil, black pepper, pancetta, an egg or two, and a hunk of Parmesan cheese. There is no cream, butter, olives, or prosciutto in the dish, as many a restaurant insists on adding. Anything outside of the original dish, as it's made by the charcoal makers, should be given another name.

Pasta Primavera is another victim of restaurateurs' best intentions to make a beautiful dish "better" for their dining patrons. Primavera is like the French printinière, the young first growth of succulent miniature vegetables grown during the spring. Dishes (French or Italian) so named are a reverent celebration of the end of winter, and the start of another growing season. Sliced "horse" carrots, chunks of zucchini and yellow squash, and quartered mushrooms, bound in a flour-thickened white sauce, smothered with a mound of grated cheese, is as clear a case of gastronomic sacrilege as claiming that margarine possesses a "buttery taste."

The next major revelation regarding cuccina Italiano was that Parmesan cheese was not intended to be grated over absolutely everything in that realm. Bread crumbs, for example, often toasted in a pan with olive oil, were also an important seasoning element. A typically Sicilian dish, for example, was pasta with anchovies and bread crumbs. The sauce consisted of garlic fried in olive oil, blended with tomato paste and anchovies, and tossed with spaghetti. The bread crumbs, toasted by sautéing in olive oil, along with chopped parsley, were then sprinkled over the top.

Other dishes with intriguing sounding names had even more intriguing stories to go along with them. Pasta Puttanesca, or "harlot's pasta," got its name from the speed with which it could be made—that is, one that could be made between clients, or a quick dish made by a wife for her husband after an afternoon matinee with her lover. The sauce consisted of olive oil, garlic, plum tomatoes, olives, capers, salt, and parsley, all tossed with spaghettini (the thinner the pasta, the shorter the cooking time), and is prepared in about 15 minutes. Bucatini Briganteschi (Highwayman Style) was so named for a benevolent coiithern Italian outlaw known solely by the name Giuliano; Spaghetti alla Buccaniera (Buccaneer Style), Ravioli alla Zappatora (Ditch-digger's Style), Penne all'Arrabbiata ("Angry" style), and Maccheroni alla Carrettiera (Teamster's Style) are all dishes so highly spiced with both pepper and garlic that supposedly only a virile "he-man" could handle the heat.

There are stories behind the names of the pastas themselves as well. Spaghetti was derived from "spago," meaning cord, linguine came from "lingua," meaning tongue, refer ring to the oval shape of the noodle, and lasagna was derived from lasanum, meaning "big pot"; ravioli was derived from "rabiole," meaning scraps of little value, referring to the leftover food chopped up and wrapped in small pasta pillows by the sailors of Genoa during their longer voyages; tagliatelle was invented in 1487 by a Bolognese cook in imitation of the hair of Lucrezia B orgia.

The final chapter is the pesto movement, already a part of the west coast repertoire, which later picked up momentum as it was adopted in the East. In truth, pesto has no direct relation to basil, but is derived from the Latin word pestare, meaning "to pound," from which is derived pestle, the grinding tool used with a stone bowl (a mortar), and in which various herbs and spices are ground into a paste—a pesto. "Pistou," for example, a bean, pasta, and vegetable soup unique to Provence (southern France), includes an olive oil, tomato, garlic, and basil paste that is added to the soup just before serving. We can now find numerous herbal and nut pesto sauces used to dress any number of pasta dishes.

As for the quartet of tomato sauces most familiar in commercial cooking, they cannot be considered in the same way as the French mother sauces. They are simply commonly accepted corruptions of a handful of sauces from a cuisine that has emigrated into our melting pot cuisine. But we do begin to understand the nature of Italian cooking—sauces, pasta, and so on—that it is more a style and approach than a grand organized system. In fact, pasta, and the sauce that dresses it, represents a very creative moment in the kitchen. The choice of noodle must first be made, based on the character and texture of the sauce that accompanies it. And the number of choices are enormous, in spite of the fact that our choices are limited to the varieties which manufacturers and importers decide are the most popular. In Italy, every town and village boasts its own shapes and names for pastas unique to that area. But the ingredients for the sauce can be made up based on ingredients available at the time a dish is made. And that sauce can be created at the moment one decides to create it. Giuliano Bugialli, for example, divides his book Bugialli on Pasta into chapter titles as follows: Pasta with Beans, Pasta with Vegetables, Pasta with Fish, Pasta with Meat and Game (followed by regional and flavored pastas, a chapter on gnocchi, couscous and other grains, and desserts). In practice, there is no limit to the combinations and varieties of sauces that can be innovated. One works with inventiveness and imagination guided by availability of ingredients and one's own preferences.

When working with this palate of edibles, there are a handful of important guidelines that will ensure favorable results. These are as follows:

• Use only fresh, local ingredients.

• A quality dried pasta, made from durum semolina (the hard wheat that makes the best pasta), is generally superior to fresh pasta, which requires as little as 1 minute of cooking time. Fresh pasta lacks the chewy (al dente) quality that comes from semolina flour, and fresh pasta absorbs the juices and liquids of the sauce that dresses it too rapidly.

• "One should not indiscriminately sprinkle Parmigiano over everything if all dishes are not to melt into an unappealing sameness," writes Giuliano Bugialli. "Generally, cheese is not used with fish, game, or mushroom sauces—though there are a few exceptions—and rarely in dishes with hot red peppers."

• When using grated cheese, always grate your own.

• Pasta must be cooked in rapidly boiling, lightly salted water. It should be stirred for the first couple of minutes, to prevent the pasta from sticking to itself, until the water returns to a boil.

• Use plenty of water—1 gallon per pound of pasta.

• Cook the pasta just before it is to be served. Avoid precooking and reheating. (Large production houses cannot always afford this luxury.)


Olive oil is often added to the water for cooking pasta, based on the supposition that it will prevent the pasta from sticking together. This is a misconception, since the oil floats on top of the water and has little interaction with the noodles. The true reason for adding olive oil (or plain vegetable oil), is that it prevents the water from boiling over. In large production cooking (10 to 40 pounds of pacta at one time), this is a valid step, even with sufficient space between the water and the top edge of the pot. Nevertheless, the author recommends adding a small amount of olive oil (a tablespoon or two) to a pot of boiling water, as a spiritual ingredient, one of many mystical little tricks of the trade that adds a subtle and undefinable characteristic to a dish.


The recipes that follow offer a basic structure of tomato sauces. There is a basic French-style tomato sauce, without the roux, from which a handful of derivatives can be made. This includes contemporary innovations, followed by pestos and other puréed sauces, similar in that they are all puréed pastes of some kind.

 

TRADITIONAL TOMATO SAUCES
Basic Tomato Sauces

 

FRENCH STYLE

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 shallot, minced
2 pounds (34 cups) ripe tomatoes, peeled, roughly chopped
1 medium Spanish onion, very finely diced
3 garlic cloves, pressed
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon salt

• Sauté the onion, shallot, and garlic in the olive oil, over medium heat, covered, for about 10 minutes.

• Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, very slowly, stirring frequently, 30—40 minutes. Remove the thyme and bay leaf, and adjust seasoning.

This sauce can be puréed in a food processor, if desired.

 

Algerian Sauce
(Sauce Algérienne)

Tomato sauce garnished with a julienne of green and red bell peppers, sautéed in olive oil.

 

CREOLE SAUCE

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Spanish onion, medium dice
1/2 cup celery, medium dice
1/4 cup green bell pepper, medium dice
1/4 cup red bell pepper, medium dice
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fresh garden tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped (or the equivalent of canned tomatoes in tomato juice)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

• Sweat the vegetables and garlic in the olive oil, over medium heat, for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, and a little salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.

The Creole cooking styles of the Louisiana delta are a unique blend of the French, Spanish, African, Caribbean, and native North American Indian cultures that influenced the cooking of that region. While Creole sauce is generally served with shrimp or crayfish, it represents a style of cooking unique in the world, and better represented by the regional specialties that can be found in New Orleans, among them gumbo and jambalaya. The presence of Creole sauce in any cookbook is more a way of acknowledging the uniqueness of that cuisine.

 

NAVARESE SAUCE
(Sauce Navaraise)

1/4 cup olive oil
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 shallot, minced
1 bay leaf
1 medium Spanish onion, very finely diced
1 tablespoon basil leaves, minced
8 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon sage leaves,
1/2 cup dry white wine minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oregano leaves, minced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds (3—4 cups) ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

• Sauté the onion, shallot, and garlic in the olive oil, over medium heat, covered, for about 10 minutes.

• Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, very slowly, stirring frequently, 30—40 minutes. Remove the thyme stems and bay leaf. Add the chopped herbs, mount with butter, and adjust seasoning.

 

Richelieu Sauce

Tomato sauce flavored with meat glaze.

 

ROOSEVELT SAUCE

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, very finely diced
1 shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, pressed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup apple butter
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup lemon zest, blanched
1 1/2 pounds (about 3 cups) ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

• Sauté the onion, shallot, and garlic in the olive oil, over medium heat, covered, for about 10 minutes.

• Add the white wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and herbs, simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, 30 minutes.

• Remove the thyme and bay leaf, and purée in a food processor.

• Return the sauce to the fire. Add the apple butter and lemon zest, and simmer briefly. Adjust seasoning.

Apple butter is apple sauce slowly cooked down in a heavy-gauge pan (a cast iron skillet is excellent for this) until thick, dark, and sweet. This can be accomplished in the oven, at 350°F, stirring frequently.

Saint Cloud Sauce

Basic French tomato sauce, mounted with tarragon butter and garnished with chopped tarragon.

 

BASIC ITALIAN TOMATO SAUCE

1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups fresh plum tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped (or canned plum tomatoes, packed in juice)
1 medium Spanish onion, finely diced
1/4 cup carrot, peeled and grated
8 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 basil leaves, minced
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup parsley, minced

• Sauté the onion and carrot in the olive oil until lightly caramelized. Add the garlic and basil, and sauté another 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and simmer slowly, for 30—40 minutes.

• Purée in a food processor. Add the parsley, and adjust seasoning.

Since sugar is not recommended for use in tomato sauces, the carrot, as well as the caramelizing of the carrot and onion, is included for its sweetness.

 

AMATRICIAN SAUCE
(Salsa Amatricana)

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups fresh garden tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped (or canned plum tomatoes, packed in juice)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 pound pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
6 dried hot red chile peppers
salt and black pepper to taste

• Sauté the onion and pancetta in the olive oil for 10 minutes. Add the hot peppers, tomatoes, and some salt and pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

This dish, which originates from the town of Amatrice, is generally served with bucatini, a long pasta that is hollow in the center.

 

BOLOGNESE SAUCE

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon marjoram or oregano leaves, minced
1/4 pound prosciutto or pancetta, small diced
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
1 medium onion, small diced
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 medium carrot, peeled, small diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 celery stalk, trimmed, small diced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound fresh garden tomatoes, peeled and roughly cut (or canned plum tomatoes, packed in juice)
2 garlic cloves
6 ounces lean beef, ground
6 ounces lean boneless pork, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup brown stock
3/4 cup heavy cream

• Sauté the prosciutto, celery, carrot, and onion in the olive oil for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, beef, and pork, and continue cooking another 10 minutes. Add the white wine, and simmer until nearly dry.

• Add the herbs, nutmeg, salt, tomatoes, and stock, and simmer, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes. Add the cream, and adjust the seasoning.

 

Marinara SAUCE
(Salsa Marinara)

1/4 cup olive oil
2 pounds fresh garden tomatoes, peeled and puréed (or canned purée)
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Italian parsley (flat leaf), roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the garlic and parsley in the olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and some salt and pepper, and simmer about 20 minutcs, stirring frequently Adjust seasoning.

Marinara sauce is sometimes considered to be a simple tomato sauce, with seafood added, so named after the fishermen who included mussels, clams, squid, and so on. This is not necessarily the case, and the sauce is also known by the simple recipe here.

 

NEAPOLITAN SAUCE
(Salsa Napoletana)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound fresh garden tomatoes, peeled and roughly cut (or canned plum tomatoes, packed in juice)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup black Calamata olives, pitted and quartered
5 anchovy fillets, minced
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

• Sauté the garlic in the olive oil until it begins to turn brown. Remove and discard.

• Add the olives, anchovy, and capers, and sauté a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and black pepper, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Napoletana generally refers to a tomato sauce without meat. There are so many variations that it is difficult to arrive at one recipe that is the Naples style sauce. This recipe is one of numerous varieties.

 

PASTA AGLIO E OLIO
(Pasta with Garlic and Oil)

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound spaghetti
25 sprigs Italian parsley, stems removed and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

• Sauté the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and cook another 2 minutes.

• Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, and toss with the sautéed mixture and the parsley.

Bugialli, in whose book, Bugialli on Pasta, this recipe appears, suggests several variations of this dish. The garlic can be crushed, sautéed in the oil, then discarded. (This is not an uncommon practice, a way of infusing the oil with only the flavor of the garlic.) Other herbs can be included in this dish as well. These include rosemary (fresh or preserved in salt), which is cooked with the garlic, then discarded. Basil is also suggested, though torn basil leaves, sautéed with the garlic, can remain in the final dish. And finally, the author writes, "I cannot state strongly enough that grated cheese is never added to any aglio-olio dish."

 

CONTEMPORARY INNOVATIONS

BARDELLI SAUCE

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup Neapolitan sauce
1/4 cup prosciutto, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
2 shallots, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup mushrooms, sliced very thin

• Render the prosciutto in a heavy-gauge saucepan, over medium flame, until golden brown.

• Add the butter, garlic, shallots, and mushrooms, and sauté about 5 minutes.

• Add the tomato sauce. cream. salt and pepper. and bring to a boil. Adjust seasoning.

• Add the fettuccine and blend thoroughly. Serve topped with the grated cheese.

This dish was created by Charles Bardelli, late chef of Bardelli's, one of San Francisco's older restaurants (before Bardelli's it was known as Charles Fashion Restaurant).

This sauce was designed to be served with Fettuccine Bardelli and this recipe is sufficient to dress one pound of fettuccine.

 

CREAMED TOMATO SAUCE

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup drained canned tomatoes, chopped
1 large shallot, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and white pepper to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine

• Sauté the shallot and garlic in the butter for 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and white wine, and simmer until reduced to roughly 2 tablespoons of liquid.

• Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cream and simmer another 5 minutes.

• Remove the sauce to a blender or food processor, along with the remaining butter, and purée. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside, keeping warm until ready to serve.

This sauce accompanies "Chicken Liver Mousse," innovated by Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey. The recipe for the mousse follows.

 

CHICKEN LIVER MOUSSE

1 pound fresh chicken livers, trimmed of membranes, and roughly chopped
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
1/2 cup dry white wine
pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream
pinch of white pepper
butter as needed
2 tablespoons Cognac

• Marinate the chicken livers in the wine for one hour.

• Drain the wine, and discard. Place the livers, salt, pepper, Cognac, and nutmeg into a food processor. Purée, then add the butter, and purée again. Add the cream and blend in, using the pulse switch.

• Liberally butter 8 individual 6-ounce ramekins (similar to a small ceramic soufflé dish). Divide the liver mixture equally among the ramekins, and cover each one with a small circle of buttered paper (the paper that is used to wrap butter is excellent for this purpose).

• Place the ramekins into a steamer, or on a rack in a roasting pan, so that they sit above simmering water. Cover, and steam for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, and let the ramekins sit for 1 5 minutes. Unmold carefully, and serve on a bed of the creamed tomato sauce.

 

ROASTED RED BELL PEPPER TOMATO SAUCE

8 large red bell peppers, split, seeds and connecting tissue removed
2 pounds fresh garden tomatoes, cores removed
10 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1 medium Spanish onion, medium dice
3 cups tomato purée
12 fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste

• Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the peppers, tomatoes, and garlic on a roasting pan, and roast for 30 minutes.

• Remove the peppers, tomatoes, and garlic to a food processor.

• Sauté the onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the basil, and sauté another minute. Add this to the food processor, along with the parsley, and purée all.

• Remove the purée to a heavy-gauge saucepan, add the tomato, salt, and pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes.

• Strain through a screen sieve.

 

TOMATO-ARMAGNAC SAUCE

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh basil leaves, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 cup tomato, peeled, seeded, and medium-diced
1/4 cup fish stock
salt and black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup Armagnac

• Sauté the shallot in the olive oil, covered, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the tomato, herbs, and fish stock. Simmer until reduced by half. Place the sauce in a food processor and purée. Return to the fire, add the Armagnac, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside, keeping warm until ready to serve.

 

TOMATO COULIS

1 quart canned whole tomatoes with their juice
1 cup extra-rich chicken stock (if extra-rich stock is not available, add 1 tablespoon meat glaze (glace de viande, make with chicken or veal stock)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 large shallots, roughly chopped
8 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, parsley, and cilantro, minced
salt and black pepper to taste

• Sauté the shallots and garlic in the olive oil for 3 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients, except for the herbs, salt, and pepper.

• Simmer uncovered, for 30 minutes.

• Pass through a food mill, then add the herbs, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

PESTO SAUCES

 

ASPARAGUS SAUCE

1 pound asparagus
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 hard-boiled egg yolks
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
pinch of black pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream

• Remove the bottom half of the asparagus (reserve for another use). Blanch the top half of the asparagus in boiled salted water, uncovered, until very tender. Drain, and purée in a food processor, along with the egg yolks.

• Place the asparagus purée, butter, and cream in a heavy-gauge saucepan and bring to simmer. Add the lemon juice, and season to taste.

Asparagus sauce is typically served with steamed vegetables, boiled potatoes, and hard-boiled or poached eggs.

 

BAGNA CAUDA, PIEDMONT STYLE

1 cup olive oil (from the sun-dried tomatoes)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 anchovy fillets
1 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil

• Place all ingredients, except for the parsley, in a food processor, and purée. Stir in the parsley, and remove to a chafing dish.

• Fire up the chafing dish, and serve with stalks and hearts of celery, cardoons, blanched artichoke hearts, and other fresh seasonal vegetables.

This specialty of the Piedmont region of Italy is traditionally served on Christmas Fve It often includes white truffles, which have been substituted with sun-dried tomatoes here, since fresh white truffles are a rare commodity, even in Italy.

 

BASIL PESTO

leaves of 1 bunch of fresh basil, well rinsed and dried
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
salt to taste
3 large garlic cloves, crushed

• Place all ingredients, except the cheese, into a food processor, and purée. Remove the paste. add the cheese, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Pignolias (pine nuts) are quite expensive, probably due to the fact that a pine tree started from seed will take 75 years to reach commercial levels of production. Walnuts are the most commonly used substitute in contemporary practice. One alternative is to sprinkle toasted pine nuts on top of a pasta tossed in the walnut-based pesto sauce.

 

GOAT CHEESE PESTO

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
pinch of salt
1/3 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup goat cheese (chévre)
3 tablespoons pine nuts
pinch of black pepper

• Pound the basil, garlic, pine nuts, salt, and a tablespoon of the oil in a mortar (or purée in a food processor). Add the remaining oil, blending thoroughly. Remove the paste to a bowl, and blend in the goat cheese and pepper by mashing with a fork. Season to taste, and toss with freshly cooked pasta.

This recipe was borrowed with permission from Marcella's Italian Kitchen, by Marcella Hazan.

 

GREEN CLAM SAUCE

30 littleneck clams, shucked and reserved with their juice
3 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, minced
1/2 pound dried linguine
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
2 bay leaves
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium Spanish onion, finely diced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
black pepper as needed
1/4 cup dry red wine

• Bring one gallon of water, a pinch 0! salt, and a tablespoon of olive oil to a boil. Add the linguine, stirring continuously until the water returns to a boil.

• In a large pan, sauté the bay leaves, garlic, onion, and red pepper in the olive oil over high heat for about 4 minutes, or until the garlic just begins to caramelize. Add the wine, clams and their juice, and the herbs, and simmer about 1 minute.

• When the linguine is cooked al dente, drain and add to the sauce, along with the butter, cheese, and some black pepper. Bring to a boil and serve.

This is a traditional recipe from Boston's North End, as seen in Jasper White's Cooking from New England.

 

MINT PESTO

15 large sprigs Italian parsley
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
15 large fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
5 large fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft

• Pound the herbs and salt in a mortar until they form a paste. Transfer this to a bowl, and add the butter, cream, cheese, salt, and pepper. Blend thoroughly. Serve with just cooked green tagliatelle or other choice of pasta.

 

PEANUT SAUCE I

2 tablespoons peanut oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons red chile paste
3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons grated ginger root
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
3 scallions, sliced paper thin
1 cup chunky peanut butter

• Blend all ingredients together thoroughly in a mortar or food processor. Cover and refrigerate, allowing it to marinate at least 24 hours. Serve with any grilled, roasted, or poached chicken dish.

 

PEANUT SAUCE II

2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon red chile paste
1/4 cup scallion, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 teaspoon grated ginger root
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1/4 cup chicken stock

• Sauté the scallion and garlic in the peanut oil about 3 minutes. Add the grated ginger and sauté another 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, stock, chile paste, and cumin. Blend thoroughly. and simmer until almost dry.

• Add the peanut butter, yogurt, and cilantro, and blend thoroughly. Serve with any poached or sautéed poultry dish.

 

PARSLEY PESTO

1 large bunch Italian (flat leaf) parsley (leaves only), stems removed
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and black pepper to taste

• Purée the parsley, walnuts, and garlic in a mortar or food processor. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream (using the pulse switch, if food processor is used). Repeat this with the cream. Stir in the cheese, and season to taste.

 

SAGE PESTO

1 bunch fresh sage leaves, rinsed, and stems removed.
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

• Combine all ingredients in a food processor and purée.

 

SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO

3 cups sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated
1 cup olive paste
6 garlic cloves

• Drain the tomatoes, discarding the water. Combine all in a food processor, and blend until puréed. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

 

TRAPINI PESTO

6 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup basil leaves, rinsed, stemmed, and dried
1 1/2 pounds bavette or spaghetti
1 cup slivered almonds
4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, roughly chopped

• Pound the garlic, salt, and basil in a mortar until they form a paste. Add the almonds, and continue pounding.

• Purée the tomatoes in a food processor. Add the paste from the mortar, and the pepper, and incorporate the oil, using the pulse switch on the processor. Toss with the freshly cooked pasta and serve.

 

TUSCAN GREEN SAUCE

2/3 cup shelled walnuts
2 hard-boiled egg yolks
1 1/2 cups Italian parsley leaves
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

• Place the walnuts, parsley, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper into a food processor and purée. Add the yolks, and purée again briefly.

• Using the pulse switch, add the oil in a slow, steady stream until it is completely emulsified. Set aside until ready to use.

Tuscan Green Sauce is served with "Beef Tongue," as seen in Jasper White's Cooking from New England.

 

WALNUT SAUCE

2 slices white bread, crusts removed, and soaked in 1/2 cup cold water for 20 minutes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
1 dozen walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

• Squeeze the white bread dry. Place into a food processor with the garlic, walnuts, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and purée.

• Remove to a bowl, and blend in the cheese and butter. Toss with freshly cooked pasta.

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