Monday, May 3, 2010

Homemade Tomato Sauce

I am Italian and I love to eat and cook Italian foods, but I use premade jarred sauce all the time because it is convenient. But making homemade sauce is pretty easy and fairly inexpensive, especially with this recipe since it uses canned tomatoes as a base. Using canned tomatoes is definately acceptable, especially considering the fact tomatoes are canned at their peak of flavorful perfection. But if you find you have an overload of fresh tomatoes in your garden this summer, by all means boil, peel, and then mash them in place of the can of crushed tomatoes. When Adam and I were first married I made alot of homemade sauce but once I had children I stopped making it as often. I am not sure why because it is very simple to make. Here is the recipe and it makes enough for two meals, so use one for dinner tonight and freeze the rest for another meal! A couple things before you start - feel free to use fresh herbs instead of dried when you have them readily available (for me this is not a big deal, I love the fresh parsley and basil but I don't always have them on hand and dried works). Make sure you use a wooden spoon, and not a metal spoon. Wood is an unreactive material and is unlikely to react with the ingredients in the sauce. Metal is more reactive, particularly with acidic ingredients, like tomatoes, and should be avoided.

Homemade Italian Tomato Sauce

2 Tbsp extra vigrin olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of onion, finely diced *optional
1 large can of crushed tomatoes, 28 oz.
1 can of tomato paste, 6 oz.
2 cans of tomato sauce, 4 oz. each (8 oz. total)
1/2 Tbsp of sugar
1 tsp dried parsley, or 2 Tbsp fresh
1 tsp dried basil, or 2 Tbsp fresh
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
salt
pepper

In a large sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until soft and translucent but not browned. Add the canned tomatoes, paste, sauce and sugar over medium heat until warmed through. Add the herbs, cheese and seasonings and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Serve with meatballs and spaghetti for a wonderful Italian meal.

My Mom's recipe for homemade meatballs are coming soon, stay tuned!

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