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A Sit-Down with Johnny Sack

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Lupinus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lupinus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2012 at 14:00
Yeah they are pretty hard to find, sadly because they are much superior in my opinion. Ah well, hopefully the trend of such things becoming more easily available will continue and we'll be able to get them in a few years lol. At least I can finally find salt packed capers. 
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Margi Cintrano View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2012 at 14:20
Tas and Lupinus,
 
I highly suggest that you check the website:  www.barilla.com
 
They are the oldest exporter of Italian pastas, whole canned tomatoes, tomato paste and sauces. I am sure, they would be able to provide you with a list of local shops that carry their products and / or how to order them online.
 
Have lovely evening.
Margi.  
Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lupinus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2012 at 14:31
I'll have to look into it. All I have ever seen from Barilla are their pastas, and then just the more basic types around here, and their jarred sauces. Unless it is wholesaled and re-branded, which wouldn't surprise me, I've never seen Barilla tomatoes or tomato paste here in the states.

For tomatoes and tomato paste here in the states I stick with Cento. At least in the areas I've lived it's the best and most reliable, and isn't priced through the roof. The only other one that sells San Marzano is a white can with pictures of plum tomatoes all around, with a bottom and top border of different colors depending on whole or pureed. Never noticed any more branding then San Marzano. Their good, but no better IMO then Cento and they cost a good 50% more.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Daikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2012 at 15:02
Up until I made this recipe, the beautiful Mrs. Tas held the belief that there was no excuse, culinary or otherwise, for the existence of anchovies.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2012 at 17:55
Could a good fish sauce sub for anchovies?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lupinus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2012 at 18:01
Interesting idea.

With some experimenting I imagine you might get a similar flavor profile, being fish sauce is basically anchovies juice.
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Rod Franklin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2012 at 18:14
Certainly would be easier and cheaper to have that around. I paid over $4 for a small jar of anchovies. I think I paid something like $4 for a liter of fish sauce.

Maybe I'll try a nice Caesar salad dressing(I like anchovies in mine) and see how it works out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lupinus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2012 at 18:24
I'd just be careful of the salt content in the recipe. Might give you some similar flavors but defiantly going to add more salt then actual anchovies, so just something to be mindful of. 
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Rod Franklin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2012 at 18:31
Yeah, I was going to add that concern to my last post. I agree with you. I wonder if I could get the taste without going over the too salty line. Maybe I'll add it at the end and just a 1/4 teaspoon at a time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lupinus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2012 at 18:41
Yeah just a little at a time. Remember, the job isn't so much to make it taste like anchovies as it is to act as a seasoning. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2016 at 18:11

I’d like to bring this back up to the top in order to demonstrate another use for this wonderful sauce, which has become our “go-to” sauce for various Italian dishes.


As I mentioned in a previous post, it works very well for meatball sandwiches; of course, any red sauce can be used, but I really like making them with this sauce, so let’s take a look at how it goes down.


Here, I’m preparing to bake some meatballs in the oven:



Sometimes I use Ahron’s recipe, and sometimes I use Andy’s recipe for Italian sausage (usually with ground beef rather than pork); and sometimes, I just throw a few things together. The meatballs can also be fried in a pan, of course, but I prefer to bake them for the sake of convenience.


Anyway, once the meatballs are cooked about 35 or 45 minutes, I simply drop them into this beautiful, flavourful sauce and allow them to soak in all of that Italian love for a while:



I’ve read that sometimes people add the meatballs to the sauce without pre-cooking them. This is fine, as well, but be sure that the meatballs are cooked all the way through before serving.


Meanwhile, I toast some rolls, buns or other bread under the broiler in the oven:



Sometimes we drizzle olive oil and garlic on the bread; other times an Italian cheese blend. Sometimes we go with garlic and cheese together - it depends on the day.


Sooner or later, the meatballs and the sauce simply look...ready:



After that, it’s a simple matter of putting the meatballs on the toasted bread with a little sauce:



Next, top them with a little more sauce and perhaps some grated Italian cheese:



That’s all there is to it - nothing could be easier, but the results are incredible!


If you haven’t already tried this truly amazing sauce, perhaps this will give you a reason to do so. For a very modest effort, you can have sauce that tastes better than anything out of a jar and has so many uses.


Buon appetito!


Ron

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Effigy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2016 at 22:44
Hmmm
Its not too late to plant more tomatoes, any ideas where I might get that strain? Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2016 at 06:58
Won't do you any good, Ann. San Marzano became the darling of the foodie world a couple of years ago. The point of them is their terroir, the unique flavor that comes from growing in a specific locale.

The joke is, most of those being sold in the U.S. are grown in California's Central Valley. As different a set of conditions as you can imagine.

In addition, there are at least six varieties called San Marzano.

The thing about the Cento brand is that the tomatoes they can are fully ripe, which is not always true with American brands. If you grow your own plum or past tomatoes you can achieve the same thing via home canning.
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Effigy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2016 at 23:01
Well I can buy the seed here and I think I just have 80 days before the temperatures dip too low. I will grow them in pots and put under cover if necessary. A dutch lady who is a gardening friend grows tomatoes in her lounge all year round in Warkworth town. She thinks its wonderful after the Dutch climate.
I will have a go :)
I haven't had to buy tomato paste, passata, or sauce in three years - Tomatoes I CAN grow.
Anyone interested in how to make tomato paste?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 January 2016 at 07:09
That would make a nice how-to, Ann. Why don't you give it a go!
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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