Recipe: Basic Tomato Sauce

Just like the information I provided on cooking pasta, it almost seems silly to write about making a tomato sauce. However, as any college student with some dried herbs in the cupboard and all Italian grandmothers know, not all tomato sauces are created equal. And while there are age-old approaches such as afternoon-long simmering, a really good sauce depends on just a couple things:
  • GREAT tomatoes
  • A touch of sweetness
  • A good balance of herb, aromatic and vegetable flavors
This recipe, adapted from Mario Batali, uses very few ingredients, but delivers impressive flavor. Shredded carrot is the secret ingredient. Basic Tomato Sauce Adapted from Molto Italiano by Mario Batali 1/4 cup olive oil 1 large yellow onion, diced 4 cloves garlic, sliced 4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme* 1 large carrot, shredded with a vegetable peeler into approximately one inch strips Two 28 ounce cans of San Marzano tomatoes
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic and cook about 10 minutes, letting them get slightly golden
  3. Add thyme and carrot and cook about 5 minutes
  4. Add tomatoes and juice from the can. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 30 minutes. The sauce will thicken. Add a touch of salt at the end.
The sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for a week, and freezer for up to 6 months.

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