I mean, I know there is better tomato sauce, but if I had a garden of fresh tomatoes it might be. All my life I had this really particular idea of what I though was perfect tomato sauce. I usually don’t ever order pasta with a tomato sauce anywhere because I don’t trust that its my kind of sauce. Like everything else, it all starts with quality ingredients, especially the best tomatoes you can find. To me there is no substitute for San Marzano whole canned tomatoes. They are the sweetest and most delicious ones you’ll find (unless you have a garden of fresh tomatoes). I buy two cans so I can make extra to freeze and use for any number of things in the future. I like mine smooth with no big chunks of anything which means a blender is somewhere in the equation. The color is important too. I don’t want my sauce to dark, I prefer a lighter color. To me, the only way you can really determine if you have a great sauce is whether or not you could literally drink it all by itself…and I guess if you could eat an entire loaf of bread with it. For me, this sauce right here is everything I want in a basic tomato sauce…the texture is there, the color is there…and you can drink it like wine.
2 28 oz. Cans of Whole San Marzano Tomatoes
2 Small Fresh Onions (1 large onion), Roughly Chopped
2 Medium Sized Fresh Carrots (1 large carrot), Roughly Chopped
6-7 Garlic Cloves, Roughly Chopped
3-4 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
1 Cup of White Wine, Approx. (One that you want to drink)
Pinch of Red Pepper Flake
6-7 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6-7 Basil Leaves, Thinly Slice (aka chiffonade)
Roughly Chop the garlic, onions and carrots.
Heat a decent sized pot over medium-high heat and when hot add the olive oil, the garlic, the onions and the carrots.
Add the red pepper flake.
Add a good amount of salt. Don’t be afraid, the tomatoes need it.
Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes.
Add the wine and let it reduce for a couple minutes.
Add the tomato juices and use your wooden spoon to hold back the whole tomatoes. You can use the spoon like I do, but your hands are really the best tool for crushing the whole tomatoes. They don’t have to be fully broken down because later your gonna blend it to make it smooth.
Cook at at a light simmer for at least an hour, though the longer you cook it, the better it gets. After its done cooking, get your hand blender ready. If you have a blender, use that. If you don’t have anything like that, then seriously go out and buy a hand blender like the one below. They aren’t that expensive and you can use it on so many amazing things without having to store some big ass blender.
Taste it to see if it needs any salt. Always be tasting your food while your making it. You can’t make things taste better after you’ve plated it. If you keep tasting you can always be adjusting and tweaking to get it to where you want to be, even if you are following a recipe. It should taste amazing right now so finish it up by adding some thinly sliced (chiffonade) basil.
Now you can either use it for some pasta or chicken parm now or you could put it in a container for later. It will last a week in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer. I’m saving it for my next post…Toasted Gnocchi with Swiss Chard, Cannellini Beans with Melted Mozzarella…coming soon!