View Full Version : Plain old General Purpose Italian Tomato Sauce

05-21-2012, 06:09 PM
Time for a batch of tomato sauce, and since someone was asking for marinara recipes the other day and I need to figure out how to get decent sized pictures in my posts, thought I'd document how I make mine. It's not really marinara, just all all-purpose Italian-style sauce. It can be used for pizza sauce, or add meatballs, sausage, mushrooms, whatever makes you happy. We freeze it in small portions so it can be pulled out on short notice--then brown meat and veggies in a little olive oil, toss in the sauce to simmer for about an hour, and you're good to go.

Starting with the ingredients: I like a sweeter sauce, and sweet onion, carrot, and bulb fennel do the trick without resorting to much (if any) sugar. The frosty bags are tomatoes out of the freezer--got them last summer at the farmer's market, blanched, peeled, and tossed in the freezer for times like this. Also some roma tomatoes, also from the farmer's market, oven roasted with a little olive oil and salt and frozen. You can substitute canned tomatoes and tomato paste. And fresh basil--there's no good substitute for that.


First the onion is chopped and started in a dutch oven with some olive oil. I like it to soften and get a little brown before adding the carrots and fennel bulb.


Need a just a little garlic, and don't waste those fennel tops! Throw them in the pot and let them start to soften.


Clean off the basil leaves, and set aside the big beautiful ones. Other leaves and stems go into the pot, along with the oven dried tomatoes (in the bowl) and the thawed raw tomatoes.


Everything's in the pot now except the basil leaves:


Hit it with an immersion blender, add the basil, season. I use salt, pepper, a little oregano, sugar if needed, red wine, ground fennel seed, worchestershire sauce, and--the secret ingredient--chili sesame oil for a hint of heat. A little extra olive oil if it needs it. Anchovy paste is also good if you can sneak it in when your spouse isn't watching.


It's going to taste watery at this point. Simmer for a couple of hours until desired thickness, tasting and ajusting seasoning occasionally.

Pensacola Tiger
05-21-2012, 06:15 PM
Guess what I'll be making this weekend?

I see you are putting your new nakiri to good use.