Friday, May 8, 2015

Italian-Creole Red Gravy

Writer Terry Thompson-Anderson devoted a chapter of her book, "Cajun/Creole Cooking" to Italian-Creole cuisine. Here's an excerpt on one of my most favorite things to cook, Italian-Creole Red Gravy: "The most unique feature of the cuisine is its tomato sauce, commonly referred to as "red gravy" or "tomato gravy." This rich sauce, used over meats and pasta, has dozens of variations from family to family. Some red gravies are based on a brown roux. Some contain eggplant. Others contain anchovies, whole boiled eggs, or meat. Two consistent threads in red gravy are the addition of sugar and the frying of tomato paste! When I learned the secret of frying tomato paste, everything I cooked for a week contained fried tomato paste! The procedure produces a specific taste without which you simply do not have authentic Creole-Italian tomato gravy. After the vegetables are sautéed in olive oil, tomato paste is added and, literally, fried before the liquids are added." - Coming up next, more on the Spanish influence on Italian-Creole cooking.

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