Sure, there are lots of great tomato sauces out there and I have tried a lot of them. However, a lot of them are packed with sugar and salt. Not that I shy away from things like sugar and salt in my food, I’ll be the first to admit that, but I prefer the flavor of certain items, like tomato sauce, to not have as much of these “additives.” It just doesn’t need it and when I actually prefer something healthier, hey, I jump on the wagon!
When I have the time, I like to make my own, fresh. I have tried to can tomato sauce with not much luck. With the methods that I have used before, it just doesn’t retain the fresh flavor that I really enjoy and seems to defeat the purpose of spending your time making it. I am sure I will try it again someday, but for now this is the best recipe that I have found, if you want a nice, fresh tomato sauce that channels your inner Italian.
I would suggest, especially if you have a family, double this recipe, as it is only enough for one family sized meal. Then freeze half of it for another meal. There is nothing particularly hard about this recipe, you just need about an hour to create it.
- 35-oz can crushed Italian plum tomatoes with juices (Equivalent to 3 lbs ripe fresh tomatoes, that have had their skin removed.)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely diced
- 1/4 cup celery with leaves, finely diced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil, finely shredded
- red pepper flakes
Put the tomatoes and their juices through a food mill using the finest disk. In a 3 quart sauce pan, saute the onion in oil over medium heat until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and celery. Saute for 10 minutes. Add food milled tomatoes to the pan. (Be careful, it will splatter!) Stir in the bay leaves, oregano, basil, salt and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and lower heat to maintain active simmer with lots of small bubbles all over the sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 45 minutes. Taste and add salt and red pepper if needed. Tomato sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days or freeze.