For a few years now I have been on a search to find the best method of making tomato sauce. Everyone does it a little differently; I know a Jewish Italian woman that puts a carrot in the pot to draw out a little sweetness. Another cook cuts up the garlic in slices instead of crushing it. Another cooks it literally ALL day. Some put the basil in at the beginning, some at the end. I’m going to show you MY way of cooking the best tomato sauce ever. This comes from tips from excellent cooks and a LOT of experimentation.
Also, sorry that these pictures suck. I don’t have a lot of light in my kitchen and I was in a hurry, so these pics make the sauce look brown. But trust me, it was VERY red and delicious, ok?
This recipe is only about 4 servings, so adjust accordingly.
- Cut up 1/2 onion in VERY small pieces. If you need a hand cutting one, go here.
- Then cut up about 4-5 cloves of garlic.
- In a heated pan with lots of olive oil, add the onions, garlic and a big pinch of salt. Stir and cook until the garlic has a tad bit of color on it.
- Now add a large can of CRUSHED TOMATOES. If you really want some chunks you can add some, but your base needs to be crushed. Every great Italian sauce I’ve ever had has been crushed.
5. Now add about 1/2 cup water. Cook uncovered on the LOWEST setting for about 3-4 hours, more or less. If you see that it’s getting way too thick, you can add a bit more water. If you have a crock pot/slow cooker, use it. You really need to cook it for hours, low and slow. Don’t try to rush it. The flavor of the tomatoes transforms into something amazing.
Right before you’re ready to serve (5-20 minutes), add fresh basil and make sure your salt content is good. Not oregano, not rosemary, black pepper or thyme, JUST basil. This was a basic lesson I learned in Cooking Sauces 101. When you add that basil at the beginning of cook time, it overwhelms the flavor of the tomato and gets a little bitter and weird, trust me.
- 1 Can CRUSHED tomatoes – $1.59
- 1/2 Onion – $.45
- 4 Servings – $2.04