Jammy Tomato-Anchovy Sauce From Phyllis Grant Recipe on Food52


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A jammy, concentrated, umami-rich tomato sauce perfect for your pastas, pizzas, spread on sandwiches or any way you want to brighten up your winter day.

Love this sauce on polenta…I like it with creamy, thin polenta and topping with Parmesan.
June 6, 2020
First, could we PLEASE ban the word jammy unless it is referring to actual jam? It is such a cliche at this point. Second, this is a really great, versatile recipe, it’s in my rotation now, despite having such a fussy list of ingredients. And third, it makes a hell of mess when you’re cooking it. Definitely get a splatter guard.
April 29, 2020
I made this sauce as directed (except for cutting the amount of EVOO in half) and it was amazingly delicious! It is”jammy”: sweet, tart, and thick. The only way I’ve used it is spreading it on slices of toasted baguette and then sprinkling a bit of goat cheese and fresh basil on top–a great hors d’oeuvre or light lunch that really showcases the sauce’s intense flavor. I will definitely be making this again.
April 11, 2020
This sauce is amazing! I made a huge batch, cooked it all day in my largest Dutch Oven then froze it. Not only is it good with pasta but it makes a great pizza sauce.
Jackie D.
March 25, 2020
I will use your recipe, that is, the ingredient list and will make it the opposite way…. quick cooking it in the pan , high heat for fast reduction. I do all my sauces that way and they come out delicious . Aways leave time to rest though before using, 10/15 minutes max.
March 22, 2020
I have very mixed feelings about this sauce. On one hand, it’s undeniably tasty. On the other, though, it’s really no better than my normal go-to tomato sauce, and it’s about twice as complicated, and takes more than three times as long to make. As a result, I just can’t recommend this recipe to anyone, even though I enjoyed it. Here are my insights on the components, broken down for ease of comparison:
– Using canned tomatoes, preferably San Marzano: Absolutely a win; I recommend doing this for every tomato sauce you make of this style. Canned tomatoes have more consistency than fresh, unless you have a garden or a good farmer’s market, and San Marzano is a very solid brand.
– Red wine and oil-packed anchovies: Also a clear win, and worth doing for basically every tomato sauce of this style you make.
– Three cloves of garlic: This was not nearly enough garlic for a sauce this hardy. I doubled the garlic, and the sauce was still on the very weak side of appropriately seasoned. For a sauce cooked this long, with as robust flavors as this one has, use way more garlic than this recipe is suggesting. Also, forget the microplane – just mince it like usual. You get nothing from microplaning it in a sauce that cookes this long.
– Using a balsamic reduction: This is an absolute waste. You taste *none* of the complexities of a good balsamic reduction in the finished sauce, and making a balsamic reduction is such a pain that I have no idea why you’d bother doing it for a dish you can’t even taste the result in. It is absolutely worth adding a little balsamic vinegar, but just add a dash of straight balsamic to the simmering sauce, and leave out the white wine vingear in exchange. The brown sugar is this recipe provides the caramel flavor that the reduction could have provided anyway. And speaking of which…
Brown sugar: Absolutely do include this. Using a little bit of sugar (or a carrot) to take the edge off of canned tomatoes is an old and well-known trick, but the little bit of molasses-y flavor that brown sugar brings to the equation makes it a worthwhile substitute for white sugar, especially since it doesn’t add any prep time at all to make the switch.
– Lemon zest: This is worthwhile, but not deal-breaking if you don’t have it. The lemon zest does help to brighten up the sauce, but it does so quite subtly – I’m not really sure if the result is worth getting out a microplane for. If you have dried lemon zest (available in the spice isle), this is a good addition, and since I regularly keep dried lemon zest in my spice cabinet, this is an addition that I myself will be making to future sauces.

– Sprigs of fresh thyme: Fresh thyme is absolutely wasted in a sauce that cooks this long. Use dried – it’s cheaper, and you will taste absolutely no difference. As a general rule of thumb, three hours is way too long for any fresh spice besides bay laurel; save yourself both money and hassle, and sticked to dried.
– And finally, the big one, the three hour long cooking time: I’m sorry, but it’s just plain not worth it. Instead of slaving away at this for three hours (I don’t consider any recipe to be”set it and forget it” if you need to stir regularly to keep in from burning), just follow these simple steps: 1) cook the garlic in the oil for a bare minute or less before you add the tomatoes to the pot, so that the garlic loses its sting, 2) add everything else, including the wine, and bring the sauce to a brisk simmer, 3) simmer the sauce on a reasonably high temperature for only about five minutes before your pasta goes into the boiling water, 4) when your pasta is about halfway done, add a full 6 oz can of tomato paste. A pasta sauce that way is honestly indistinguishable from this one, and it’s ready in less than 30 minutes, instead of in three full hours.
Some of the ingredient insights of this sauce are solid, but save yourself the trouble, and make another recipe. You won’t regret it.
March 22, 2020
(Slight correction to the above – for two cans of diced tomatoes, you’d probably need to cans of tomato paste. But also, I think using a single can of diced tomatoes and the same proportion of everything else is probably the way to go; as mentioned above, this sauce could use a higher concentration of seasoning)
Florence C.
March 19, 2020
No where does the recipe mention using a slow cooker. A slow cooker will not reduce the sauce. The point of the recipe is to reduce the sauce hence the name “Jammy”.
Keith S.
March 21, 2020
I agree. The sauce produced here is lovely, but not better made in a slow cooker…and stirring every 20min., while well-advised, seems to defeat the convenience a slow cooker generally exists to offer
Sharleen T.
March 8, 2020
Just made this, and it looks great, cooked it in the slow cooker for 3 hours then switched to a pan for about an hour, perfect. Just added a little more salt and Italian seasoning.
March 3, 2020
This is really delicious. I used tomatoes that I canned myself, and didn’t find the finished product too sweet. I am surprised at the negative comments, but I guess different people have different tastes. I am definitely adding this to my favourites and our regular dinner rotation.
March 2, 2020
Just made this in the slow cooker. 8 hours on low, then ~45 minutes on high without the lid. Tasted when I uncovered it – not the”jammy” consistency, and a definite metallic taste. So…more brown sugar + garlic salt, dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder, a little more pepper flakes…pretty good. The ease of just throwing everything in allows for a little imperfection in the taste. Don’t criticize it and call it”inauthentic” and”awful” – just adjust the seasonings to your liking.
I used whole San Marzanos and crushed them by hand, double the garlic and maybe not the best red wine – it was a little old (left by guests) and kept in refig for awhile. I don’t think the sherry vinegar is necessary, but if it turns out too acidic, the extra brown sugar works the magic to bring it back. I know some don’t like to add sugar, but I have no fear of sugar, especially brown – love the taste.
I think when I reheat the rest, I will let it reduce a bit and try to get the”jammy -ness”.
March 2, 2020
Wow, this turned out extremely well. Love the smoky spicy kick. I only had 1 28 can of tomatoes so I sort of halved the ingredients. Let’s hope I can duplicate it.
Oh I added capers

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