This fresh tomato sauce is a staple in our home. We make it ahead as it is great for freezing and can pull it out to thaw in a pinch for dinner. It pairs nice with a glass (or two) of Chianti, and some shredded parmesan cheese. It will be sure to have you feeling “abbiocco”
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30-45 mins
Firstly, you’ll need to peel the tomatoes. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add 8 of the 10 tomatoes to the boiling water and leave in for about 1 minute (you will see the skin of the tomato starting to peel away, this is when they’re ready!).
With a straining spoon, take the tomatoes from the boiling water and put into an ice bath. Once cool enough to touch, take the skin off and core the tomato.
Add the peeled tomatoes to a blender and blend on low until smooth. Set aside.
Prepare the vegetables.
Peel and dice onion, celery, carrots, and leftover 2 tomatoes into small pieces. In a large deep pan, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add the onion to the oil and cook until onion becomes clear. Add the celery and carrots to the onion and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes.
Lower the heat and add the diced tomatoes, minced garlic and basil to the vegetables to the pan. Grab the blender of tomatoes you set aside and slowly pour into the pan while stirring.
You will notice the sauce will be a bit runny at this point, and a bit orange from the carrots, and this is where your tomato paste comes in. Add the contents of 2 cans if tomato paste to your sauce mix. Stir the paste into the sauce, this will thicken it up and make it bright red!
Add in your bay leaves (I always count how many I put in so that no one gets a leafy surprise with their spaghetti; I take them out before serving/freezing). Let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes, then taste test (quality control, right?). To taste, add in salt and pepper.
We like our sauce a bit on the spicier side, so we add some red chili flakes right to the sauce, however these can always be served separately if desired.
As a last touch, if I’m using the sauce right away, I’ll add in a couple handfuls of spinach before serving on pasta. It gives it a great contrast in colours!
Bonus points if you listen to some great Italian classics while you’re cooking up a storm,
& don’t forget the Vino!