Who doesn’t love Italian food? The language, the love, the food…..ahhhhhhhhhh…. sigh.
Last night was no exception for me. I totally wanted a beautiful, rich and yet gentle sauce that was full of ripe tomato flavour and had the depth of fresh basil running through it. Simple tomato sauce. Yes, there is an art to it. You must make sure you don’t overcook it and you cannot under cook it either. It needs to taste ‘fresh’ and light yet not harsh or still tart or bitter with the fresh tomatoes.
Here’s my perfect recipe. I make it at least once a month and use it for many dishes like Polenta, Pasta, Lasagna and Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi (Recipe to follow soon).
Kelly’s Tomato Sauce
3 tbsp REAL olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large shallot, finely diced (you need to use shallots as they add a richness you can’t duplicate otherwise)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 – 28 oz. cans of organic tomatoes, (1 28 oz, crushed and 1 28 oz diced)
1 cup diced fresh Roma tomatoes (into 1cm dice)
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup water
1 tsp dried basil
¼ tsp pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil, gently chopped. Give it love when your chopping!
Optional: add ⅔ cup cremini mushrooms, sautéed
- Saute diced onions in the olive oil in a medium size stock pot for 3 minutes on medium heat. Add garlic and shallot and sauté for another 3 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the 2 cans of tomatoes, cup of diced roma tomatoes and sea salt and stir. Bring to a high simmer, stirring all the time and then lower the temperature until it reaches a slow simmer. Add dried basil and stir. Simmer for 20 minutes (put timer on). Remove from heat
- Remove 2 cups of sauce with measuring cup and put into blender. Blend on high for a minute or two until the sauce ‘lightens’ and looks relatively velvety smooth.
- Put this blended sauce back into the pot with rest of the sauce and stir together (I like doing this as the sauce then gets ‘thickness’ from the blended portion and then the unblended sauce provides some ‘texture’ of diced onion, shallots and tomatoes). Add fresh chopped basil and ground pepper and stir through. Rewarm. This will smell so fragrant.
- Taste and see if it needs a little more salt to taste. Try to allow your taste buds to get used to less sodium. That’s always a good thing but sea salt does definitely enhance tomatoes lovely flavour.
- Stir in the sautéed cremini mushrooms if you wish now.
Note: To keep it Gluten Free, Use with your favourite Brown rice pasta, 100% Buckwheat Soba Noodle or Quinoa Pasta.
This will keep in fridge for up to 5 days in a sealed glass container (for health reasons, try to use glass and not plastic). Otherwise, if you aren’t using it right away, put in freezer in a glass storage container and it will keep for three months. Here’s your ready to go sauce for last minute dinners through the week.
Are you living your life yet?