Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Kitchen Basics: Making a Good Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce doesn't have to come out of a jar or can! In fact, canned tomato sauce can be dangerous as many brands use BPA to line their cans, and BPA has been linked to a variety of health issues. Making a good tomato sauce is relatively easy and takes little time, so I like to make big batches and freeze it for use later in as it's a good base for a whole host of dishes.

Curious? Well, here's how to make the sauce. Please note that this recipe will make enough sauce to serve 8, but can easily be doubled or even tripled.

The Tomato Sauce

4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 chopped garlic cloves
kosher salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
a pinch or two of red pepper flakes
52 oz. canned tomatoes (these can be home canned or storebought - if storebought, I recommend using a BPA free brand, such as Muir Glen)
1/2 tsp. sugar
4 T. coarsely chopped fresh basil
balsamic vinegar (optional)

1. Heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering.
2. Add garlic, 1 1/4 tsp. salt, oregano and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add tomatoes sugar and black pepper to taste. Increase heat to high and bring to a strong simmer.
4. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover pan. Simmer for 20 minutes or until thickened(if you increase recipe, you may need more time on this step.)
5. Remove from heat, and stir in basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you want to give your sauce a little extra zing, add a teaspoon or two of balsamic vinegar.

Now you have a good sauce to use as a base for chicken parmesan, lasagna, pasta sauces - the possibilities are endless!

And I will be exploring some of those possibilities in blog posts to come, so please keep an eye out!

In the meantime, if you want to store tomato sauce to use for later, it can be kept in non-metal containers or even large freezer bags. It will keep in the refrigerator for about a week and can be frozen for 12-18 months. Just be sure to let the sauce cool completely before refrigerating or freezing.

1 comment:

  1. I love tomato sauce and usually make as much as I can each summer!