The tomato is commonly mistaken to be a vegetable when it is in fact a fruit. Unlike many fruits, tomatoes are very mild in flavor and don't exhibit any real sweetness or sourness. This makes them a very versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide variety of dishes. In fact, culinary art colleges embrace the tomato in nearly every different style of cooking from Thai to Italian, the tomato is nearly always present. Tomatoes are very juicy by nature and are great for cooking down into a sauce. This sauce can serve many different roles in a whole spectrum of foods that are widely seen from culinary school in Missouri to fancy Las Vegas resorts – the tomato is one hot commodity!
1) Homemade pizza
Many people believe that the pizza sauce really makes or breaks the pizza because it can change the whole taste of the pie. It is important to use fresh and ripe tomatoes for pizza sauce since they will offer the best flavor. If fresh tomatoes are not available to you, a good store-bought tomato sauce will serve as a great base for a pizza sauce. You can modify the sauce any way you would like by adding salt and pepper, other spices, and herbs.
This French classic is often taught in culinary art colleges around the world and is a savory vegetable stew that makes great use of tomato sauce. For a quick and ready-to-eat version, simply sauté zucchini, bell pepper, eggplant, onion, and garlic in olive oil. Then, pour in the tomato sauce, toss in some basil and other herbs of your choice, then let it simmer. When the vegetables are tender, the ratatouille is ready to serve.
3) Pasta sauce
There are probably a dozen pasta dishes that you could name off the top of your head that incorporate some kind of tomato sauce. From spaghetti and capellini to lasagna and ravioli, any pasta available could potentially be used with a pasta sauce and come out delicious. Tomato sauces go really well with most meats and seafood so feel free to add your favorite proteins. Shellfish and shrimp are excellent in pasta dishes with tomato sauce. Add plenty of herbs and a spritz of lime to balance out all of the flavors.
4) Meatball companion
Oversized meatballs make for a hearty meal on their own, but they would go great with a spicy tomato sauce poured over the top. Just like how spaghetti and meatballs comes together with the spaghetti sauce, the meatball dinner doesn't feel complete until you have a great tomato sauce to dip the meaty chunks in. Add Sriracha hot sauce and pepper flakes to the sauce for a nice kick.
5) Sandwich condiment
One of the most direct uses for tomato sauce is as a sandwich topping. Anything from burgers to deli sandwiches can be found with a squirt of tomato sauce under the bun. Ketchup, or tomato paste, is a type of tomato sauce that has vinegar, sugar, and various spices in it. Ketchup still remains the most popular condiment in the United States to this day and believe it or not, it is even appreciated by many graduates of culinary arts colleges!
6) Tomato soup
Tomato soup is a comfort food that many people long for on a cold winter day. A fresh thick cut slice of French bread is great for dipping into tomato soup. While purist tomato soup usually consists of only fresh tomatoes and salt and pepper, many people find that the soup is too runny. Adding tomato sauce or tomato paste can help to thicken the sauce, giving it more body and making it easier to eat. If you prefer a bisque, simply add chicken stock and heavy cream.
f you enjoy learning new cooking concepts and challenges and live in the St. Louis area, you may enjoy taking classes at culinary school in Missouri!
This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in St. Louis. Le Cordon Bleu College of
Culinary Arts in St. Louis offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in the St. Louis, Missouri
area. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/St-Louis for more information.
Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures.
Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary.
Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.