Friday, November 07, 2008

Pressure Cooker Five-Minute Tomato Sauce

Adapted from Pressure Perfect, by Lorna Sass

1 to 3 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onions
1 cup finely diced celery
1 medium red or green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup white vermouth or dry white wine
6 to 10 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cans (28 ounces each) plum tomatoes (with liquid)
2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 teaspoons Italian Herb Blend (see recipe on blog)
salt and freshly ground pepper
large pinch of sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Heat 1 tablesppon of the oil in a 6-quart or larger cooker. Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper, a large pinch of kosher salt, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring almost constantly, until the onions begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vermouth or wine, taking care to scrape up any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the cooker. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic.

Add the tomatoes and their liquid, crushing the plum tomatoes with your hands, then put the tomatoe paste on the top. Do not stir after adding tomatoes.

Lock the lid in place. Over high heat bring to high pressure. Reduce the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Quick-release the pressure by setting the cooker under cold running water.

Stir in the parsley, Italian herbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Add enough oil to balance the tomatoes' acidity, a large pinch of sugar and the red pepper flakes. Cook at a gentle boil until the flavor of the dried herbs infuses the sauce, about two minutes.

Blend with an immersion blender.

Makes 12 cups.

Tip: the sauce freezes well.

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