Five years ago, I thought tomato sauce came from a can, jar or my Mothers kitchen. Today, that is a different story, for I have mastered the fine art of Italian tomato sauce. With all good Italian things, one requires patience and persistence.
If this is your first time making tomato sauce, I wish you luck and I hope my step-by-step photo guide helps.
I love Italian cooking and eating. I am a Canadian, who learned the fine art of Italian tomato sauce by trial and error, and a lot of questions. And this is what I came up with, I hope you enjoy.
How to Make Tomato Sauce Like an Italian
1. Collect Raw Ingredients: Tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, canned tomatoes and tomato paste. I was shocked to learn that some Sardinian’s add carrot and celery to the tomato sauce and since, so have I. It adds a little extra thickness and flavour to the sauce. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
2. Clean, Wash, Chop: Pretty self-explanatory. On a side note: I never measure my goods. I’ve never been good with numbers and I prefer to throw whatever I have into the mix, the rest can go in the fridge or freezer for another day.
3. Heat Oil: in a medium saucepan heat olive oil, add one small piece of onion to test oil temperature. When onion starts to bubble add remaining garlic and onions. Stir. Cook onion and garlic mixture until onions become slightly transparent.
4. Add Carrots & Celery: stir mixture together. When carrots have softened in colour add a splash of white wine, or red, or even Sambuca … all depends on what you have ready. Allow alcohol to evaporate; stir.
5. Add Freshly Cut Tomatoes: allow tomatoes to reduce; stir.
6. Add Canned Tomatoes: this point is optional. If you have an abundance of freshly grown tomatoes use those instead. Stir and stir some more.
7. Add Tomato Paste: stir until tomato paste if fully absorbed into mixture.
8. Fresh Herbs: Basil, oregano and parsley. Throw them into the mix and stir.
9. Simmer: simmer your sauce for 2-3 hours (this will depend on your time limit) continually stirring. The longer you simmer the better the sauce. A good Sardinian friend once told me that tomato sauce is cooked when the colour turns slightly orange. It’s a great piece of advice and one I’ve faithfully followed, the results are out of this world.
10. Serve and Enjoy: The possibilities are endless with homemade tomato sauce. Have fun.
My simmered sauce is slightly orange, approaching the two-hour mark. I’ve written this post and edited the photos, while I patiently wait for red to turn orange.
Buon appetito from my kitchen to yours!
* I am not Italian, nor do I play one in real life or on the internet. I just happened to marry one.
How do you make your homemade tomato sauce?