Fried tomato sauce (tomate frito in Spanish) is a pureed tomato sauce with a hint of onion and garlic, that can be used as a base ingredient or enjoyed simply for its own flavour. It is distinct from most tomato sauces because the tomatoes have been fried, and its ingredients include a small amount of vegetable oil. It is the most common tomato ingredient of Spanish cuisine other than fresh tomatoes, and is sold under many brand names. When made by first low frying garlic and onion pieces in oil with spices and then adding the tomato puree, fried tomato sauce is known as sofrito. Heinz Tomato Frito was popularised in the United Kingdom as a short-cut ingredient by the cook Delia Smith, extolling it in books and her website recipes.
1 tbsp chopped garlic
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 lbs of tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 tsp salt
1 dozen hazelnuts, skinned
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of parsley
1/2 cup of wine or chicken stock
Saute chopped onion and garlic until the onion is softened. Add the tomatoes and fry on high heat for a few minutes. Add the salt, bay leaf, parsley and liquid. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced.
Put the sauce into a blender with the hazelnuts, and puree until smooth. Add the sofrito to your meat, fish, or chicken five minutes before it is finished. This will impart the delicious flavors of this fried tomato sauce to your main course.