Monday, October 10, 2016

Classic Homemade Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

¼ c. fresh basil, minced OR 1 tbsp. dried basil
¼ c. olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 sprig fresh oregano, leaves only, minced OR 1 tsp. dried oregano
1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced OR 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 medium carrots, trimmed, peeled, and minced
2 stalks celery, ends trimmed minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 lbs. fresh tomatoes (I like romas) OR two 28-oz. cans crushed tomatoes
dash red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Prepare tomatoes if using fresh

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. As it heats up, score the bottoms of your tomatoes with a shallow X. Drop a few tomatoes at a time in the boiling water, and leave for about 30 seconds-1 minute. When you begin to see the tomato skins split up the side, remove from the hot water and place in cold water. Repeat with all tomatoes.

When tomatoes have cooled, carefully peel away the skins.

Remove the cores and squeeze out the tomato seeds. Chop into large chunks. Set tomatoes aside.

Prepare your vegetables

I like to use a food processor to mince up my garlic, carrots, celery, and onions into tiny pieces, but if you like a chunkier sauce, either process yours less or cut with a knife into larger chunks.

Make your sauce

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic, carrots, celery, and onions, and cook, stirring regularly, for about 10 minutes or until they take on a bit of color. Add your prepared (or canned) tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

If using dried herbs, add them at this point.

Allow sauce to simmer over medium-low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened to your liking. I like to leave the lid on but ajar so moisture can escape but my stovetop isn't super splattered with sauce.

About five minutes before your sauce is finished (or after about 40 minutes), add your fresh herbs if using, and stir in.

Taste for salt and pepper.
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