Tuesday, May 12, 2009

20 Minute Tomato Sauce

Sometimes, it's nice to get back to basics. Sure, there are great brands out there that make canned tomato sauce - and, when in a crunch, they sure come in handy - but when you have a little time, it's really a nice thing to try and make at home. Really, making tomato sauce is a pretty easy endeavor. This is the recipe I've adapted from many others I've tried, and it seems to do the trick!

And really... this tomato sauce only takes 20-25 minutes tops to make. I always make a big batch when I take the time to make it - like this week, for example. I made a hearty batch of tomato sauce yesterday, froze half of it, and am using the other half for different weekly meals. Spaghetti with tomato sauce and meatballs is always a great classic, as is any combination involving tomato sauce and pizza - but you can also use it to top simple grilled chicken breast or as a sauce to poach fish by adding a little chicken stock.

If I've learned anything from attending culinary school is that cooking is all about building layers of flavor. This is exactly what makes tomato sauce so delicious: you've got the obvious strong tomato flavor, subtle sweetness coming from the carrots, and depth in flavor coming from the herbs and aromatics. There's nothing like it!

Homemade Tomato Sauce
1 can of San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 onion
1 small carrot
1 small celery stalk
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of sugar
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Finely dice the onion, carrot, celery and 2 cloves of garlic. Try to keep them all the same size so that they cook evenly. In a stockpot on medium heat, add a good drizzle of olive oil and add the onion. Saute for 2 minutes, and add the carrots and celery. Add the dried oregano and bay leaves and saute for another 2-3 minutes.

Crush the canned tomatoes and add the tomatoes and liquid to the stockpot. Generously season with salt and pepper and add the last garlic clove, peeled and coarsely chopped. Add the tomato paste and sugar and stir. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaves and discard.

Using a immersion blender, blend the tomato sauce until the sauce is well pureed. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!


Dana said...

That looks perfect. I just made a sauce to go with some calzones and I'm sorry to say that it's a little flat. Wish I had this recipe yesterday!

Coco Bean said...

Great! I also have a tomato sauce that cooks in the time it takes to boil the spagetti but it is different and now I can take some of your ideas to spruce mine up!

Audrey said...

And here I was thinking, there's nothing in the house to make a quick dinner with...but I have everything here except the celery! Perfect. Thank you!

Justin said...

sounds simple and perfect. i love the photo.

unconfidential cook said...

Perfect! So simple, what's not to like? A basic sauce like this is the best to have on hand--goes with/perks up everything.

Salon de Sucre said...

it is a good thing to back to basics.. especially for tomato sauce which lost its originality with all the new aditions ! so good to see something so easy to make and taste like heaven!

Ria Mathew said...

Very simple and nice! Loved the click!! :)

The Italian Dish said...

Perfect. A classic. That's almost exactly how I make mine!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, homemade is the only way to go with tomato sauce - it's so divine!

Love the photo!

stephchows said...

I'm guilty of making just about everything home made... but then buying jarred sauce... I need to stop this habit!

Simones Kitchen said...

I don't know why I never thought of making tomato sauce... I always buy too many tomatoes, simply because I love them but at some point they have to be eaten. This is a great recipe for any leftovers!

Unknown said...

I love having tomato sauce on hand. I think homemade is much better! Your recipe looks good, I'll definitely have to give it a shot!

Shaheen said...

There is nothing better than homemade tomato sauce. I loathe store bought sauces that have an insanely huge amount of sugar and other additives.

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