04 July, 2011

2-Day Nina Tomato Sauce

I'm accustomed to planning ahead for this recipe because I think tomato sauces and soups taste better the second day. I've always wanted to cook with San Marzano tomatoes, but had found them expensive for the large quantities intended. 

  San Marzano tomatoes

When I bought a huge can, I was unaware of controversies about the authenticity of San Marzanos, and did not look for DOP ("Denominazione d'Origine Protetta") on the label. Whether the tomatoes were grown in Italy or California, I'm pleased with the results and terrific price. 

Big can at Costco small price

Nina Tomato Sauce Base ingredients
Makes about 1-gallon
2 tsp McCormick Chicken Base
2 cups boiling water
2 Vidalia onions
Lemon Pepper
Minced garlic
Brown sugar
About 1/4 bottle Chardonnay (best guess 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
106-oz can whole San Marzano Italian Plum Peeled Tomatoes with Puree & Basil (divided use)
2 to 4 frozen whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Granulated California garlic
Italian Seasoning
1-1/2 LBS frozen Sweet Italian Sausages

Notes:  I used 1997 Franciscan Oakville Estate Napa Valley Chardonnay at room temperature. On 8/19/11, I used 1997 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Appellation Collection. 

One of these days, I'll add celery seed to this sauce for chicken cacciatore (you might like this). 

Day 1:
Dissolve Chicken Base in the water.

Slice one onion and completely cover the bottom of crock-pot (I did not use cooking spray this time). Season the onions with lemon pepper and minced garlic.

Remove about 24 whole tomatoes from the sauce and make at least 2 layers on top of the onion slices. Reserve sauce and remaining tomatoes for another purpose.

Staying away from the outside of the crock-pot, sprinkle the tomatoes with some brown sugar. Season with granulated garlic and generous amount of Italian Seasoning. 

Slice and layer the second Vidalia onion over the tomato layers. Season onions with Lemon Pepper and minced garlic.

Add 2 to 4 frozen chicken breasts over seasoned onions. Sprinkle with more Lemon-pepper and Italian Seasoning. 

Take 3 to 6 of the reserved whole canned tomatoes, and pull apart from top to bottom. Lay the tomato strips evenly on top of the chicken breasts. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Add the dissolved Chicken Base liquid to one side of the crock-pot. Cover and cook on Low until chicken is cooked, about 5 to 5.5 hours.

Remove the chicken from the crock-pot with some of the tomatoes and onions to a serving dish or storage bowl to serve now or later. (I like serving chicken sandwiches with melted Swiss cheese and some of the cooked onion rings and tomatoes as relish.)

Add the frozen Sweet Italian Sausages to the crock-pot. Cover and continue cooking on Low for about another 4 hours (if sausage isn't frozen, cook on Low for 1 to 1.5 hours). 

Remove some of the tomatoes to a serving dish or storage bowl. Remove sausage and serve or store. 

Continue cooking the sauce and onions on Low to reach a total time of 14.5 hours.

If desired, ladle some cooked onion rings, tomatoes, and the light sauce into a storage container or over the cooked and refrigerated Italian Sausage and chicken breasts. Serve remainder over pasta, or use as base for other dishes.

Day 2:
Continuing reducing, and add ingredients to make other sauces/dishes. These are a few of my favorite combinations using this base:

You might like:
5 Minute Tomato Sauce via 101 Cookbooks

Last Updated June 22, 2012

1 comment:

  1. This home-made sauce is excellent! I made and froze it in 48-oz plastic PB jars. We used it with fresh 5-cheese Tortellini.