I've been making this homemade tomato sauce recipe for almost as long as I have been cooking. I'd love to say that I invented it because it embodies so much of the ideology – which mandates simplicity, speed, focus on technique and ingredients that I like to practice in my craft, but alas, I did not. I learned it from an
Here's how to make tomato sauce.
- Slice 5-6 medium sized cloves of garlic into slices. The size of the slices is not so important, but if you make them about the size of a pinky fingernail, that's good enough.
- Cut 4 pounds of ripe plum tomatoes into quarters. Do not discard the seeds or any of the interior pulp. There is tremendous flavor in the jelly-like pulp that surrounds tomato seeds and throwing this away is tantamount to a crime.
If fresh tomatoes are unavailable open, but don't bother to cut, 2 35 ounce cans of San Marzano tomatoes from Italy or a high-quality San Marzano or Italian style domestic brand such as Cento (available at Costco and elsewhere).
- Pour 5 fluid ounces of good olive oil into the sauce pan.
- Heat the oil on a gentle flame or low-med burner setting until it just begins to shimmer. If you heat it too long and it begins to smoke, throw it away and start over.
- Add the garlic and cook it for 2-3 minutes. If the garlic begins to brown, throw it out and start over.
- Add the tomatoes and mash them with a potato masher.
- Turn the flame or burner setting to high and cook for no more than 10 minutes. If the tomato juice starts flying around the kitchen, cover the pot with a lid or reduce the heat.
- Toss in 12 leaves of fresh basil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt or and some freshly ground black pepper to taste. Salt is important because it diminishes your brain's ability to sense bitterness and tomatoes, no matter how good they are, always have bitter alkaloids that become concentrated during cooking.
- Turn off the heat, remove the pot from the stove and place the immersion blender in the bottom of the pot. If you don't have an immersion blender, let the sauce cool to room temperature and put it in a conventional stand blender.
- Puree the sauce until it turns bright orange and you are good to go.
If you can't finish your fresh tomato sauce in one sitting, try freezing it to enjoy at another time!