Building a basic tomato sauce doesn't take much. The acidic, bright sauce is made primarily by simmering tomatoes, but there are certainly other elements that bring it altogether. One thing tomato sauce is often missing, though, is a good source of fat, which adds rich flavor and helps bring balance to it. Next time you whip up a homemade batch, try enhancing it with some butter.
Pretty much everything is better with butter; in particular, salted butter has two things our palates love: salt and fat. Our bodies crave foods that are appealing to our brains, and those two aspects confirm why many people add butter to almost any recipe. In a tomato sauce, it's also the perfect contrast to the acid, so whether you add in a few tablespoons of the dairy product or use it to sauté the other veggies for the sauce, you can't go wrong with a touch of the delicious ingredient.
Adding Butter To Tomato Sauce Brings A Balanced Richness
If you're making tomato sauce from scratch, you may be sautéing other vegetables, such as onions and garlic, to add into the pot. Rather than reach for olive oil to heat up the veggies, swap it with salted butter. Sautéing the veggies in butter will help infuse the dairy product's rich flavor into the rest of the sauce. Once the veggies are sautéed, add in the tomatoes like you'd traditionally do, though you'll undoubtedly notice a difference in the final product. But, if you prefer to cook the veggies in oil, no worries — you can always add a couple of tablespoons of butter into the pot prior to adding the tomatoes.
Butter is also perfect for enhancing store-bought tomato sauce. Since canned or jarred sauce needs a certain amount of acid in order to be shelf-stable, it's often lacking that desired rich flavor. So, when you heat store-bought sauce on the stove, add in some salted butter to melt into it, and you'll likely be surprised at how much it amps up the flavor.
Other Ways To Add Fat To Your Tomato Sauce
Butter might add more richness than olive oil when sautéing veggies for tomato sauce, but that doesn't mean olive oil should be fully glossed over, especially if you don't have any butter on hand. Rather than skipping the fat altogether, add a few tablespoons of oil to your sauce. Just know that if you're using oil instead of butter, you might also need to add a little more salt to taste.
Another option for a hearty fat for your sauce is heavy cream; just be careful not to add too much because it can quickly alter the flavor. Just a tablespoon or two will do the trick. It will make the sauce's color appear lighter than it would with just butter, but the cream will work the same way in terms of creating balance. In fact, it's the reason vodka sauce tastes so much richer than regular tomato sauce. Just add a touch of cream and the spirit to standard tomato sauce, and you'll have created a whole new option with homemade vodka sauce that tastes great on all kinds of pasta dishes.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.