Diginwithdana is now 2 years old!
To celebrate, I’m starting with this easy tomato sauce, the first in a series of classic, basic recipes that will help YOU build your skill set in the kitchen. These recipes are simple to make and adapt to your tastes.
Tomato sauce is a great basic recipe that’s easy to master and use for so many dishes: soup, pasta or vegetables, pizza, casseroles, barbecue, etc… Use fresh Roma or good quality Italian canned tomatoes such as Cento San Marzano peeled tomatoes as your base.
What you’ll need: an onion, tomatoes, olive oil, salt and depending on the tomatoes, a dash of sugar. Once you know how to make the basic sauce, you can add in your own favorite flavors, such as herbs and spices, other vegetables, meat or cheese.
Although optional, here’s an easy way to peel fresh tomatoes: use a paring knife to make an X at the tip or core (see photo above). Plunge into salted boiling water for one minute. Drain and run under cold water. Place on cutting board and peel off skins. Then chop and set aside.
A sweet yellow onion adds flavor to this simple sauce. Chop and sauté in olive oil over medium heat, then add tomatoes and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, about 25- 30 minutes.
Chunky or smooth? The texture is your choice. After 25 minutes, I used an immersion blender to achieve a smoother sauce, with just a few chunks of tomato. (A blender works too.)
The possibilities are endless. Make a great, lower calorie pizza with an toasted English muffin, tomato sauce and your favorite cheese and toppings. Even simple roasted vegetables like these baby zucchini are suddenly tastier with a dollop of homemade tomato sauce and a handful of cheese, herbs or both!
Dig in to Easy Tomato Sauce and add a dose of fresh, healthy sauce to your cooking in 2016!
Serves: 6 servings
- 2 pounds ripe roma or beefsteak tomatoes, peeled and chopped* (911 gm)
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped (300 gm)
- ¼ cup olive oil (60 ml)
- Kosher Salt and a pinch of white sugar to taste
- *Substitute 2 lbs or 911 gm good quality peeled, canned tomatoes, such as Cento or Hunts.
- If tomatoes are difficult to peel: Use the tip of a knife to cut a shallow X across the bottom of each tomato. Boil tomatoes in a pot of salted water for 60 seconds, then drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water. Use your knife to peel off the loosened skins of tomatoes, then coarsely chop and set aside.
- Brown the onion: In a large pan over low heat, stir chopped onion in the olive oil until soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and stir frequently over low heat until the sauce has thickened, about 25 minutes.
- Stir in sugar and salt to taste at the end of cooking time and adjust for seasonings.
- For a smooth sauce, place cooked, cooled sauce in a blender and blend until desired consistency is reached or carefully use an immersion blender in the pan.
- Yields (6) ½ cup servings, or 26 oz/780 gm of sauce.
- Garlic: Add 1 or 2 chopped garlic cloves in with the onion.
- Red or Green Pepper or Mushrooms: add one seeded, diced chopped pepper of choice or 16 oz. sliced mushrooms to softened onion. Cook until juices evaporate before adding tomatoes.
- Basil or Bay Leaves: toss in a few fresh basil or dry bay leaves with chopped tomatoes.
- Cheese: Before serving, stir in 1 cup shredded or cubed mozzarella cheese.
- Meat: Cook up to 1 pound ground meat or sausage until brown, before adding onion. Continue cooking over very low heat with tomatoes until done. (Do not puree.)
Nutritional Information courtesy of CalorieCount.com.
Recipe yields 6 1/2 cup servings (120 gm each).