What is Tomato Basil Sauce?
Tomato Basil sauce is made with tomatoes, tomato paste and fresh basil, seasoned with garlic and red pepper flakes. It has a smooth texture and a savory, spicy flavor. It can be tossed with pasta, or spread on pizza or layered in lasagna.
...Botanically speaking the tomato is a fruit, but in the culinary world it is used almost strictly as a vegetable. Tomatoes are a nightshade plant that grow on tall, thick sturdy stalks. There are many varieties of tomato, but the most common type is round and red. It has a thin skin that covers its extremely juicy and soft flesh. The center contains seeds wrapped in a gelatinous film. The tomato is sour with a hint of sweetness. It can be sliced into rounds and wedges or diced into small chunks and is eaten raw or cooked.
...Tomato paste is a made by cooking tomatoes down, straining them and then continuing to let them cook until they have been reduced to a thick, dark red paste. This paste is tart and sweet with very little moisture due to the reduction of juices which creates an intensified and rich tomato flavor. Tomato paste is used in sauces and many Italian dishes.
...Olive oil is extracted from the fresh olive, which grows on a tree. Many olives are needed in the extraction of the oil. This is done by a mechanical process and sometimes by a chemical process, though the mechanical method is highly preferred. Olive oil is a golden color and changes slightly due to whether it is extra virgin, or first cold pressed. The flavor of olive oil depends on how it was processed. Lower quality oils will taste mild, while high quality olive oils will have a robust flavor that is green, or may have a spicy quality. Extra virgin and first cold pressed or preferred. Olive oil lends a depth of flavor to any savory dish.
...Basil is a leafy and aromatic herb that grows in warm climates. There are over one hundred varieties, though the most common Genovese variety of basil produces thin green leaves, in a tapered oval shape. The leaves taste bright, peppery and almost minty; the smell is the same. Basil lends a spicy sweet and herbal flavor to any dish.
...Garlic is used in cuisines around the world and is extremely popular for its depth of flavor. The garlic bulb forms underneath the soil and is harvested once it reaches maturity. The bulb typically has thin, dry, white and flaky skin, surrounding the individual cloves. Often there are 10-12 cloves to a bulb/head of garlic. The cloves are cream colored with a strong smell and flavor that is spicy and sharp. Garlic takes on a nutty flavor in addition, when cooked. It is used in countless dishes, sauces, breads and more.
...Salt is a mineral composed mostly of sodium chloride. It is the main flavoring used in food and is naturally occurring in certain foods, such as cheese, beets, meat and celery, plus many others. Salt is white and has finer granules than sugar. Many commercial salts include iodide, while others exclude it. Most salts are white, while some are naturally pale pink with minerals. Salt brings out the flavor of something and can create a tangy mouthfeel, if used in excess.
...Red chili flakes are usually made from cayenne peppers that have been dried and ground into small red flakes. The seeds are included and add much heat. The flavor is spicy and can be used as a topping for savory dishes such as pizza, meats and veggies.