Everyone needs a good basic tomato sauce recipe. We’ve experimented with our version over the years and perfected it during a recent trip through Italy. We took a lot of cooking classes during our time there including this one in Rome – Cooking with Nonna (Grandmother).
In each region that we visited, Nonnas were cooking up their own version of tomato sauce. We tinkered around quite a bit, and came up with what is now our go-to basic tomato sauce recipe.
It is quick and easy to make, and doesn’t need to simmer for hours in order to taste like that’s exactly how it was made. We use carrots to add a little sweetness and bouillon to give it a deep rich flavor. Then we use a blender in order to give it a smooth texture.
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You’ll never need another tomato sauce recipe. Make a big pot and freeze it in small quantities to use whenever you need it. You can use it with your favorite pasta or over vegetables such as spaghetti squash or zucchini ribbons, for poaching meatballs, or for a sauce with recipes like this one for stuffed eggplant with sausage.
- 2 cans, 14 oz or 400 gram crushed or whole tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 large onion
- 2 medium carrots
- ¼ cup or 75 ml olive oil
- ½ cup or 125 ml red wine
- 2 beef or vegetable bullion cubes
- pinch red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Finely chop onion, garlic, and carrots
- Heat olive oil in large pot to medium heat
- Add onions, cooked for 2 minutes, stirring
- Add carrots and garlic, stirring until onions are translucent
- Add red wine and bullion, red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer
- Add tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and then drop the heat to barely bubbling.
- Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. You can continue to allow it to simmer for 2- 3 hours for a thicker sauce.
- Add salt and pepper to taste after the sauce has reached your desired consistency.
- Optional: Add a ½ teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to add sweetness. You can also use a blender if you like a smoother sauce.
Here are some additional Italian inspired recipes you might enjoy