I'm obsessed with a great tomato sauce. Full obsession - like, will just eat it warm off a spoon and that's it. I've been experimenting with making my own tomato sauce from scratch over the past few months, and with no Italian background to be found in my family, I've been overwhelmingly surprised and happy with just how good the sauce I'm making is.
A couple things: I like a bright and basic sauce that allows the tomato to shine. I like a sauce that has been pureed completely smooth. I like a sauce made from canned tomatoes - canned produce is generally picked at the peak of freshness so the flavor is guaranteed. My personal preference is San Marzano canned tomatoes. Finally, I like a sauce the most a day or so after it's been cooked so the flavors can set in but will definitely serve it immediately if the moment calls for it.
Here is the recipe I've put together - it's incredibly easy even for a novice home chef. Enjoy!
Tomato Sauce from Scratch
[tabgroup layout="horizontal"] [tab title="Ingredients"]1. 1/2 a large yellow onion
2. 2-3 tablespoons butter or Earth Balance (dairy alternative)
3. 1 garlic clove (whole)
4. 2 cans of 28 oz. crushed tomatoes (I prefer San Marzano)
5. 3-4 sprigs of thyme
6. 2-3 bay leaves
7. Bunch of parsley stems
8. Kosher Salt
9. Black Pepper[/tab] [tab title="Procedure"]1. Heat a large braising pan (or similar pan) on medium-low and add butter. Add onions and gently cook for 3-4 minutes on low heat, adding a pinch of salt to get the cooking going. Add garlic clove and cook for 5 more minutes until the onions are soft.
2. Add crushed tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, parsley stems and bring to a slow simmer. Every 10 minutes or so stir the sauce and crush the tomatoes, incorporating everything together nicely. Cook for about 40-45 minutes until the sauce has thickened a bit. Be careful to keep this at a low simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Turn off heat, remove thyme, bay leaves, parsley stems, garlic. Pick out half of the cooked onions from the remaining tomato sauce.
4. In a Vitamix or similar high-powered blender gently add tomato sauce with remaining onions. Blend until completely smooth and lump free.
5. Serve immediately or pour into Mason Jars and cool completely on the counter before refrigerating.[/tab]
[tab title="Procedure"]Time: 60 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
Serves: 4 for dinner right away over pasta, or about 2 medium-sized Mason Jars[/tab] [/tabgroup]