I’ve decided that I’m going to do a series of my favorite Italian recipes over the next few weeks. Since almost all of them are red sauce Italian, I’m going to start with that basic recipe – tomato sauce.
- *1kg peeled, chopped tomatoes
- 100g onions, finely diced
- 50g carrots, finely diced
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 700ml water
- 6-8 stems of thyme or oregano, finely chopped
- 4-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 bunch basil, finely sliced
- 1 cup red wine
- 200g tomato paste
- salt, pepper, olive oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
* Preferably fresh tomatoes, when using canned I tend to go with crushed.
- In some olive oil, sautee onions, carrots, celery and thyme or oregano until is starts to brown.
- Add in the garlic and once the smell of garlic starts to come up, add the tomato paste.
- Add in the red wine. You should now have a very thick liquid with the vegetable chunks.
- Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil.
- Add the sugar and give it its initial seasoning. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes
- Add in the basil.
- OPTIONAL – with a blender stick, blend it until you have a smooth puree
- Adjust seasoning (and sweetener) to taste.
Since tomato sauce is a base ingredient in so many recipes I tend to make about 3-4 times this recipe at once and freeze it. I also take great care to leave it a relatively neutral flavor – not to sweet and not too overpowering. If I want to make pizza I’ll use some of this sauce and sprinkle a drop of sugar on before I add the cheese and toppings. By adding things such as ground beef, olives, capers, etc. when reheatign you can change this basic sauce from tomato sauce to bolognese, putanesca or whichever tomato based sauce you like on your pasta – and still have only made one huge batch (which doesn’t require that much work).
Next week – Chicken parmesan!