Monday, May 23, 2011

Homemade Tomato Sauce, Part One

I make my own sauce at home.  My wonderful boyfriend bought me a canning set for Christmas one year so now I make a huge batch then store them in my closet.  It is cheaper to make your own sauce, and I feel, way better for you.  Sauce is only a couple ingredients, it's really not rocket science- I never make the same sauce twice because I always just eye-ball the ingredients.  No fear- it always comes out awesome!  This recipe will be for one meal- but if you want to make a bunch just double, triple etc the recipe.  If you do make more than what you will be eating right away I would recommend you use it within a week or so of making.  If you don't have a canning set, what I used to do was make a whole bunch and put them in Tupperware (each one being for a meal) and let them cool completely, then just stack and pop in your freezer.  Take out that morning before work and it'll be good by dinner time :) Happy Sauce Making!!!

Side Note: In my recipe I use canned crushed tomatoes.  Some people will swear by the whole peeled tomatoes and you need to break them down with your hands or with the spoon but I'm just too lazy and I like the uniformed consistency of the crushed.  Why not use the can labeled tomato sauce? I feel it is too thin, the crushed gives the sauce a little "body".  But any type of canned tomato you like may be substituted in this recipe.

Also-you might hear a lot that you should use San Marzano canned tomatoes.  They are more expensive and chefs claim they make the best sauce.  You can get them right at Waldbaums, but whatever, you wanna get fancy get them- I just use the regular crushed tomatoes when it goes on sale.  As described by Wikipedia: Compared to the regular Roma tomatoes with which most people are familiar, Marzano tomatoes are thinner and pointier in shape. The flesh is much thicker with fewer seeds, and the taste is much stronger, more sweet and less acidic. They originated near the area of Naples, Italy.

  • 1 (28oz) can of crushed tomatoes (try and get the no salt added one)
  • 1 onion, chopped (I use the regular white ones)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon each of dried basil* and oregano
  • 1 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes (you can go more if you like it spicier)
  • 2 tablespoons of salt (Kosher of course)
  • About 10 grinds of fresh black pepper
  • Olive oil- I use Extra Virgin
  • Dry white wine
  • About a 1/2 to one cup of water
*(If you have fresh basil- which the taste is always better with fresh herbs- but use about 10-15 leaves and throw them in at the very end- pretty much right before you serve the sauce)

  1. In a sauce pan (or skillet) lightly coat the bottom of the pan completely with oil (I know it might sound like a lot but it is an ingredient in the sauce that makes it taste good-that is why I recommend using Extra Virgin)
  2. Heat the oil to about medium-medium high and then throw in the onions and garlic along with a pinch of salt and a couple grinds of pepper.  Do not let the garlic brown- it tastes bitter when it goes too far-if it seems like its getting brown too fast- turn the heat down.  Let the onions become translucent, then deglaze the pan with about a 1/2 cup of dry white wine.
So if you were just thinking OOOOOOOOOOOOhhhhhh DEGLAZING WTF IS THAT!? Lol-its just a fancy way of saying your using a liquid to scrape up all the stuff that is stuck to the bottom of your pan. And honestly you can use red wine too- or just skip the step all together if you dont have any wine.

3.  Let the wine cook out for a min or so then pour in your tomatoes and stir to combine.  Usually my sauce is a bit thick at this point-this is why I add a little water until I like the consistency BUT this step is completely optional- if your using a thinner canned tomato or like really thick sauce don't add water, it's really all personal preference. You definitely don't want this sauce to be too thin (that's sauce making part 2 recipe).

4.  This is when you add all your spices and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. I've eaten the sauce right away, but if you have the time, the longer it simmers, the better it is.  If you do simmer for a while and it seems that the sauce is reducing too much- just add a little water to get it back.  I would recommend using a cover when simmering the sauce- it splatters all over the place in my kitchen.  You just have to stir occasionally.

BUT if you're hungry right now- as soon as the sauce comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and then throw your pasta in (a separate pot of boiling water obviously) and cook the pasta to al dente (aka about a min before it's done-see my how to make perfect pasta for more on this)  then toss with the hot sauce- by the time the pasta gets to your table (or your mouth) it'll be fully cooked!

Wanna eat now?! Make this sauce with Perfect Pasta tonight!


sickchika said...

I'm pressing the link "LIKE" on this one hehe ;)

Simple! Can't wait to try it out ;)

brianne said...

awesome! remember to keep tasting as you go to make sure it will be good at the end. Adding more of the spices/salt you like is perfectly fine. Also, in the end if you think it still needs "a little something" try adding just a bit more salt- sometimes its as simple as that ;)

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