Oregano: Pasta or Pizza Sauce?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by murphed, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. murphed

    murphed

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    Does anyone think Oregano belongs in Pasta Sauce? Any sauce with Oregano seems to me a Pizza Sauce. Oregano overwhelms the sauce. Of course, every jar sauce on the market has it. In the North Jersey area it's basil not oregano IMHO. "baa-zaa-naa-GOAL"

    In other dishes that call for Oregano I subsitute Marjoram for the most part. Lovely balanced flavor.
     
  2. halb

    halb

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    I agree, oregano belongs in pizza sauce. For marinara, basil yes, oregano no.
    But get ready for a million other opinions depending on where a person is from.
     
  3. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    Well, this is a matter of preference, as @halb said. But, adding oregano to pasta sauce is believed to come from Greece. I have been going to Italy since I was a boy and I am not aware of any region in Italy where oregano is used in tomato sauce as part of an "authentic" recipe. With all the changes in the food world in recent years, I'm sure there is some place in Italy where oregano can be found in tomato sauce. But, you will not find it as an ingredient in a tomato sauce recipe associated with any region.

    The real question you want to ask, which will open a whole new can of worms, is what is it called? Sauce or gravy?
     
    Hercules likes this.
  4. murphed

    murphed

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  5. murphed

    murphed

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    Lots of people argue about what to call the tomato sauces served with pasta. Some grew up calling call it “gravy”, others “sauce” – some Sugo and Ragu. Non-Italians are very confused when they hear the term gravy being used for tomato sauces as they are familiar with the term “gravy” as a brown sauce.

    Definitions:
    (Ragu vs. Sugo)
    Ragu - (a meat sauce, as in Ragu Bolognaise) – hence the American Italian translation/corruption to “Gravy” or “Sunday Gravy”
    Sugo - or thinner, meatless sauce (marinara)



    In my opinion, the most likely explanation of usage in Northeast Italians is:

    “Sauce” – when the tomato sauce is meatless, (also called Sugo).

    “Gravy” – when meat is used in the cooking of the sauce (hence, the relation to “brown” gravy used on meat).
     
  6. panini

    panini

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    The OP is talking about New Jersey. The terminology here in the states for Italian products is completely
    convoluted. In Jersey, you make gravy. It has meat and vegies. Especially carrots for sweetness. You just can't use carrots without oregano. There is no waffling or schools of thought. That's the way it is. Yous got a problem wit dat?
     
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  7. murphed

    murphed

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    Carrots? Never - wouldnt ruin great San Marzano Tomatoes with Carrots...
     
  8. panini

    panini

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    Ah, what do I know. I never thought about Italian recipes, especially here in the states.
    Been there once or maybe 700 times. Currently building a home in the South. I must be mistaken.
    The long orange things pulled from the house garden and used to make sauce, must be something else.
    I'm going to venture to say 8 out of 10 nonne use this strange thing when making sauce. Disclaimer, I'm speaking of sauce/gravy, not marinara.
     
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  9. harpua

    harpua

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    I don’t like it in pizza or pasta sauce. It’s too strong and I taste it hours later. Sometimes if I’m extra ravenous, I’ll put it in pizza sauce to make it seem heartier.

    Generally, I start with sliced garlic and Chili flakes fried slow in olive oil and then I’ll add the best canned tomatoes that I can afford at the time. Simmer for awhile (I’ll usually add a glug of red from the glass I’m drinking from), and then throw in a nice big punch of basil after I turn the heat off. Sometimes I’ll use and immersion blender for that. Salt.

    So good. Oh, and maybe a sprinkle of msg. Lol
     
  10. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    I agree 100%. There are two ways to add a bit of sweetness to a sauce to counter the acidity of the tomatoes: Carrots or sugar. However, I never liked how sugar interacted with the sauce. When I make Cacciatore, I'll often use a good Marsala to add a some sweetness if I have good mushrooms or a punch or two of brown sugar if I the mushrooms aren't in season.
     
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  11. chefandrewl

    chefandrewl

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    Where I live in the flyover states it's sauce. As for the OP's question I agree oregano in pizza sauce. My customers like their pizza sauce sweeter, thicker, and heavy with oregano. Pasta sauce on the other hand, no oregano but lot's of basil. I also do put carrot in mine when using canned tomatoes and generally leave it out in the summer as fresh tomatoes here are pretty sweet on their own.