Cookstr.com

Tomato Sauce

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Escoffier codified the mother sauces of French cooking. In the Italian-American tradition, there is only one: tomato sauce. Call it marinara (we do), call it gravy (we don't), call it whatever your grandma called it. It's tomato sauce. There's almost nothing we won't cook in it or put it on. The real deal-what we grew up with and the way we would do it if we had our choice (and didn't have so many vegetarian friends and customers) would be to make that sauce, then simmer up a batch of braciola or meatballs in it, and then use the resulting meat-infused product as our "tomato sauce" in all its myriad applications. And if you're not catering to vegetarians, we advise doing just that: make a triple batch of sauce, use it to simmer up braciola or meatballs and then use that tomato sauce, fresh or from the freezer, whenever tomato sauce is called for in these pages. Use good Italian canned tomatoes and high quality olive oil when making this sauce, and take your time-there's no rushing it. When you're cooking the garlic, you want to very, very slowly convert the starches in it to sugars and then to caramelize those sugars. Slow and steady. Then get the tomatoes in and let them simmer. Not a ton happens over the four hours-no epic deepening of color or furious reduction-but it cooks as much water out of the tomatoes as possible without turning them into tomato paste.

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Texturegarlicky, savory

Type of Dishpasta sauce, sauces

Ingredients

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 13 cloves garlic
  • One 96-ounce can (or, if you can find it, 1-kg) or four 28-ounce cans Italian tomatoes
  • Large pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the olive oil and garlic in a large deep saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring or swirling occasionally, until the garlic is deeply colored-striations of deep brown running through golden cloves-and fragrant. If the garlic starts to smell acrid or sharp or is taking on color quickly, pull the pan off the stove and reduce the heat.

  2. While the garlic is getting golden, deal with the tomatoes: Pour them into a bowl and crush them with your hands. We like to pull out the firmer stem end from each of the tomatoes as we crush them and discard those along with the basil leaves that are packed into the can.

  3. When the garlic is just about done, add the red pepper flakes to the oil and cook them for 30 seconds or a minute, to infuse their flavor and spice into the oil. Dump in the tomatoes, add the salt, and stir well. Turn the heat up to medium, get the sauce simmering at a gentle pace, not aggressively, and simmer for 4 hours. Stir it from time to time. Mother it a little bit.

  4. Check the sauce for salt at the end. The sauce can be cooked with meat at this point, or stored, covered, in the fridge for at least 4 days or frozen for up to a few months.

YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED RECIPES


Free recipes, giveaways, exclusive partner offers, and more straight to your inbox!

Reviews

I have not made this yet so I cannot rate it.

Include a Photo Include a Photo

Click the button above or drag and drop images onto the button. You can upload two images.

Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!

Close

Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Sign In to Your Account

Close Window
Sign In with one of your Social Accounts
Facebook Twitter
OR
Sign In using Email and Password