Bruschetta sauce is a slow-cooked sauce made from ingredients that commonly are used fresh as a component in the Italian dish known as bruschetta. Recipes for bruschetta sauce vary greatly, but they generally include tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil that are cooked together for a long time. A completed sauce closely resembles a basic tomato sauce, although most recipes produce a smaller amount, because it largely is intended to be used as a spread on toasted bread. Variations on the basic recipe can include ingredients such as capers, anchovies, cured meats or even cheeses such as Parmesan or gorgonzola. Although the sauce can be made at home, there also are several commercial types of sauce available that are appropriate not only for bruschetta, but also as a sauce for pasta or chicken dishes.
In most instances, bruschetta sauce is a cooked spread or sauce made from ingredients that commonly are used as toppings for bruschetta. Traditionally, bruschetta is a slice of toasted or grilled bread that has a clove of garlic rubbed into its surface while still hot and then is topped with a drizzle of olive oil and, sometimes, a basil leaf and freshly diced tomatoes. Classic bruschetta is an antipasto in Italian cuisine, so the actual toppings used can vary from one chef to the next and can change according to the meal being served.
The simplest way to make a basic bruschetta sauce is to dice tomatoes into small pieces. The tomatoes should then be cooked in a pan with garlic, olive oil and chopped basil leaves. The temperature used for cooking is low so the sauce simmers for some time, bringing the flavors together and creating a smooth mixture.
Other ingredients that can be added to the sauce include roasted red peppers, capers, olives, red pepper flakes and red wine or balsamic vinegar. Spices can be added, including oregano, thyme or sage, although a heavily spiced sauce will more resemble a traditional Italian tomato sauce for pasta than a sauce that reflects the taste of bruschetta. If the sauce is going to be used fresh, then cheese can be melted into the pan or pieces of cooked bacon and prosciutto can be added.
When the bruschetta sauce has finished cooking, it can be canned and used slowly over time on toasted bread. It also can be served as a side dish to be spooned over vegetables or used as a dipping sauce. If enough is made, the sauce can be poured over pasta or other foods in much the same way as tomato sauce is used.