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Marcella Hazan recipe--mystery phrase

blue room Nov 25, 2006 06:35 PM

In a simple recipe for spaghetti sauce, she writes: "simmer..45 minutes..until the fat floats free from the tomato"
what does that mean??

I am cooking canned tomatoes, butter, salt, onion--I do not think the "fat" was ever NOT "free" from the tomato
What does "until the fat floats free of the tomato" mean?

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  1. v
    vvv03 RE: blue room Nov 25, 2006 06:47 PM

    Oh, that is such a great recipe! I believe it takes about 30 mins and it just means there is a lot of fat (melted butter) on top of the sauce. It's excellent and so easy. Enjoy!

    1. b
      bdumes RE: blue room Nov 26, 2006 02:08 AM

      Marcella uses this description several times, and it's one of those things that once you see happen, you realize it's the only way to describe it.

      With Marcella, as many have found, when first trying any of her recipes, I trust her implicitly and do exactly what she says. She's never steered me wrong yet!

      5 Replies
      1. re: bdumes
        oana RE: bdumes Jan 16, 2009 06:46 AM

        I would like to buy her cookbook. Is there one you would recommend in particular?

        1. re: oana
          cassoulady RE: oana Jan 16, 2009 06:49 AM

          Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.

          1. re: cassoulady
            oana RE: cassoulady Jan 16, 2009 06:54 AM

            Great thank you so very much :).

            1. re: oana
              cassoulady RE: oana Jan 16, 2009 07:07 AM

              It had been the cook book of the month at one point I know, you may want to search for that.

              1. re: cassoulady
                oana RE: cassoulady Jan 16, 2009 07:34 AM

                Thanks so much Cassoulady. I found it on Indigo and it's going on the card as we speak :).

      2. d
        dubedo RE: blue room Nov 26, 2006 03:07 PM

        I've made other recipes from that book in which she says that . . . and I've never seen it happen. I agree with you - when was the oil not "free" from the tomatoes? No idea. So I just simmer for approximately the amount of time she specifies, and it comes out right.

        1. CucinadiNana RE: blue room Jan 15, 2009 10:58 AM

          Like bdumes says, it is one of those things that once you see it happen, you know it right away. The fat looks completely separate from the other ingredients, "floating" on/around the top, as fat floats on water. So as the tomatoes cook, and they release their natural water content, any oil, butter, etc. will come to the surface.

          1. cassoulady RE: blue room Jan 15, 2009 12:26 PM

            it sounds like the tomoto onion butter sauce- yum, you will see after a while that the butter will rise up, so it looks like a bit of oil on top of the mixture ( which is fine).

            3 Replies
            1. re: cassoulady
              jen kalb RE: cassoulady Jan 15, 2009 01:57 PM

              ditto the above, with a lot of sauces, but esp the tomato sauces, the sauce is done when the oil separates and floats on the surface of the sauce. it you are not always manically stirring you will see it. Im not sure what causes this, maybe the gradual evaporation of the water in the sauce.

              1. re: jen kalb
                alkapal RE: jen kalb Jan 15, 2009 06:42 PM

                hazan's "floating oil" instruction is similar to that in indian recipes. the oil float is seen as a good thing in indian cooking, too -- an indication that the sauce is ready.

                1. re: alkapal
                  cassoulady RE: alkapal Jan 16, 2009 06:41 AM

                  The recipe does not call for this, but I give about 3/4 of it a whirl in the food processor once it is done. then mix it back in with the rest of the sauce, it gives it a creamy texture. SO likes the creamier sauce. MMMMM.....

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