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Five Spice Tomato Sauce

Author Notes: About a year ago I was dealing with a massive amount of tomatoes and basil from a friend’s garden. I was about to start on my sauce when I heard “Chef Academy” in the background and Jean Cristophe Novelli teaching his grandmother’s recipe for tomato sauce. I attempted to replicate his recipe with the ingredients I had on hand and ended up using Chinese five spice in place of his star anise and came to the conclusion that I loved five spice tomato sauce. I make big batches of it and use it as a sauce for: , noodles, vegetables, tempeh, on sandwiches, to poach eggs, to flavor beans, as a cold dip or just a spoonful on it’s own. (less) —EdMac

Serves 1 quart


2 tablespoons olive oil 4 pounds tomatoes (any kind you have) cored and halved 6 cloves Garlic, chopped 1 tablespoon Chinese Five Spice 1 tablespoon Honey 2 teaspoons Crushed red pepper ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract 1 bunch Basil, stemmed and roughly chopped

Salt and pepper to taste 

1-Coat the bottom of a large saucepan with olive oil and bring to medium high heat. Add tomatoes cut side down. Season with salt and pepper. 

2-Cover and cook for 20 minutes Using a hand masher, mash tomatoes. Add five spice, honey, crushed red pepper, garlic and vanilla extract. 

3-Lower heat and let simmer uncovered for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped basil and simmer for approx. 20 minutes until it has the consistency of thick jam.

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© 2018 Eddie McNamara