Thursday, June 16, 2011

Basic Tomato Sauce

For a while now, I've wanted to make tomato sauce from scratch. I got so tired of using the canned stuff but I was always too afraid to make my own sauce. I would always look at recipes and watch videos on how to make tomato sauce, but for some reason I never really attempted it....that is until recently.

I know I'm not the only one who watches Chef John's videos on youtube. He's an amazing chef and makes the tastiest looking food. So as I was watching his latest video, I came across his basic tomato sauce recipe and watched the video. As I was watching it I realized it didn't seem that difficult to make sauce from scratch. So that's how I came to the decision of trying to make tomato sauce.

You can find this recipe on youtube or you can visit his blog. There are so many different recipes to try out and everything looks delicious.

Basic tomato sauce recipe:

2 cans (28-oz) whole peeled San Marzano plum tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 rib celery, fine dice (I didn't use this since I didn't have any)
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
pinch of red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon anchovy paste (I didn't use this since I didn't have any)
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

water as needed
In a dutch oven, sweat the celery and onions with the olive oil over medium-low heat. Cook the mixture for about 15 minutes, until the celery and onions become golden brown. 
Pour the whole tomatoes into a large bowl, and with your hands, crush the tomatoes. The tomatoes should almost have the consistency of a puree. 
After 15 minutes add the garlic, salt, sugar, herbs, red pepper flakes, anchoy paste, and white vinegar. Turn up the heat to medium and cook the mixture until all the liquid has evaporated. You do not want the mixture to brown or form a crust on the bottom of the pan. When the liquid has almost completely evaporated, add the tomato paste and cook for about 2 minutes. 

Next, add the crushed tomatoes and chopped parsley. Stir the sauce and add a splash of water. Let the mixture simmer. (You will be adding water about every 10 minutes.) When it comes up to a simmer, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes. Stir the sauce every 10 minutes when you add the water. After 1 1/2 hours, the mixture should be nice and thick. Serve on top of your favorite pasta and enjoy!

This sauce is very simple and it is absolutely delicious. I never thought I'd be able to make such a wonderful sauce, but I did. Really, it's a very yummy sauce. I made some linguine and parmasean bread crusted chicken and served it to my family. They loved it. My dad devoured the meal in 5 minutes. I guarantee this is going to be your go-to tomato sauce recipe after you make this. It's so great and I definitely think you should try it out! 

Happy Cooking!

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