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tomato gravy and salsa recipes to use up 7lb can of San Marzano's

happygrrl Feb 8, 2007 08:15 AM

We got a huge 7lb can of San Marzan tomatoes in a white elephant gift exchange. They are good canned tomatoes, so we want to make the best use of them. Once opened, I would think they need to be used - do they keep?

Anyway, I would like to make a tomato gravy - or a jarred marinara to use either on it's own or in recipes that call for a tom. gravy base. I would also like to make some salsa - like you would find in a local mexican restaurant.

Does anyone have any foolproof perfect recipes they use all the time?

I can and have made both of these things without problems, just looking for input and ideas. I am envisioning simple flavors and smoother end products, not chunky - for both the Italian and Mexican.

Thank you for any ideas.

  1. o
    obob96 Feb 8, 2007 02:34 PM

    For a versatile ragu, using the entire can. For the meat, any combination of the following, totalling about 2-2.5 lbs, to be served as a second course: pork shoulder, beef chuck roast, spare ribs or country ribs, to which meatballs and/or sweet Italian sausage can be added. Food-mill tomatoes into bowl. In a large dutchoven or stockpot, heat extra virgin olive oil, brown all meats well, remove; add one onion, chopped, an a clove or2 of garlic, sliced. Lightly cook, add tomatoes, sprig of basil (parsley, bay leaf), salt; bring to a boil, replace meats. No wine. Simmer very slowly 2-3 hours, until darker and velvety, barely partially covered, stirring occasionally and getting down dark dried spots inside pot.Taste for seasoning, adding black pepper, fresh herbs if need be. Freezes well (without meat) and unrivalled for lasagna or ravioli or big tube pasta like paccheri or rigatoni.

    1 Reply
    1. re: obob96
      coll Feb 8, 2007 03:35 PM

      Don't forget braciole!

    2. Marianna215 Feb 8, 2007 12:44 PM

      I just used a huge costco 7lb tomato can to make some great gravy for our superbowl/sunday dinner.
      Spicy Sausage gravy
      1 lb spicy italian sausages (uncooked), casings removed
      1 yellow onion
      4 big cloves of garlic minced
      Olive oil to cover bottom of pot.
      In the largest stock pot/ dutch oven you've got, sweat the ONION and GARLIC in the olive oil until onion is translucent. Season the mix w/ Salt and pepper and a bit of garlic salt. Then throw in the sausages, breaking up the meat into little pieces as it cooks. Once sausage is cooked through, deglaze with a SPLASH OF RED WINE (i just use whatever I have open), let everything simmer for a moment, then throw in HALF THE CAN OF TOMATOES. I let this simmer for about 20 minutes, until it is reduced. At this point season to whatever you like -- I always end up adding a bit of red pepper flakes, some more salt and pepper, a sprinkle of sugar (or splenda), and a bit more red wine.
      I turn the mix down to a simmer and let it simmer for about an hour - checking periodically. As the mix reduces, I add more of the tomatoes then re-season.
      I usually let it simmer for about 6 hours on low heat -- stirring occasionally. As it reduces, I add more tomatoes, until I use up the whole batch. Mixing them in keeps the flavor fresh and light. Right before serving, I take off from the heat, and mix in some fresh BASIL.
      I've used this gravy in baked zitis, lasagnas, on top of stuffed shells, and chicken cutlets, and of course, on top of some nice aldente spagetti.
      Sometimes I freeze half of the batch, but we seem to go through it in about 3 days, so most of the time it never makes it to the freezer.
      You can also add:
      Mushrooms (white or crimini -- portobellos make it too heavy)
      or any other veggies that you are interested in.

      1. hotoynoodle Feb 8, 2007 12:22 PM

        i'd split it up and freeze it in ziploc bags. i don't know how many folks you typically cook for, but that would last me a very long time. or you can make one big pot of marinara then divvy that up to freeze.

        canned tomatoes aren't very good for salsa.

        1. coll Feb 8, 2007 11:33 AM

          If you mean a 3 Kilo can, it's not really that big,less than a gallon, I make a pot of sauce and if necessary will freeze some for later use. When I first started using this size, I thought it was giant and would freeze half the can before cooking the sauce, but either way it freezes well
          I always blenderize my tomatoes before I make sauce, but that's the way I was taught. My husband refuses to eat sauce that is the least bit chunky, including the mirepoix.
          This won't affect anything in the least, it's just what texture you prefer.
          For some reason, San Marzano tomatoes (or any canned) aren't as good as fresh when making salsa, I think.

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