Divine Tomato Basil Sauce

Tomato Basil Sauce

Growing up, I hated any kind of red sauce. My mom would serve me pasta with melted butter while the rest of the family ate steaming bowls of fresh pasta covered in her rich Italian meat sauce. Sometimes she would forget to reserve a portion for me and cover the entire pot of hot macaroni in her delicious sauce only to have to rinse off a portion to get me to eat it.

All I can say is – times have definitely changed! What was I thinking?! Nowadays, I can’t imagine my life without red sauce. I can’t get enough of it, literally drowning my pasta or veggies with it — My mom always has to laugh.

Sometimes I make her Italian meat version for nostalgia but my heart has been stolen by my lighter and more vibrant tomato basil sauce. It is so luscious and so comforting on a chilly evening when I’m all cozied up on the couch with Gary. When I make this recipe, I always make a huge pot — sometimes making an additional half of the recipe or doubling it — so that I can freeze quarts for easy weeknight meals or to cut down on the prep time when I am in the mood to make lasagne.

Tomato Basil Sauce

Making a great tomato sauce requires two key elements – quality tomatoes and time. This recipe is a weekend endeavour. It doesn’t take long to put together but the depth of the flavour comes from gently cooking it over several hours. You’ll be amazed at how the flavour intensifies over the time it’s left to simmer. Try this recipe and I would bet that you will make it over and over again.

Divine Tomato Basil Sauce

7 cans (15 oz/400g) of whole Italian tomatoes, crushed in the food processor

3 jars (680g) of quality passata or 2 (28 oz) cans pureed tomatoes (use plain with no added seasoning)

4 oz. fresh basil (1 large bunch) washed, stems discarded & roughly chopped

12 large fresh garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, minced

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoons salt

6 tablespoons sugar

Black pepper

Tomato Basil Sauce

Heat the olive oil in a large pot on a low-medium heat. Add the minced garlic and onion and cook for about 3 minutes. Do not allow it to brown – you’re just looking for an amber colour and for the flavour to infuse into the olive oil. So, once it becomes fragrant, add the tomatoes and season it with the salt, sugar and pepper. Then add the basil and stir well.Tomato Basil Sauce

When the sauce starts to let off steam, move the pot to the weakest burner and turn it on the lowest setting. Then cover the pot with a tightly fitted lid and leave it for no less than two hours or up to four hours. You can stir it occasionally but it’s not necessary if you are doing other things.

If the sauce is too thin for your liking, you can add a couple tablespoons of tomato paste. I like a thicker sauce so when reheating a portion for dinner, I let it simmer uncovered — bubbling over low heat — for at least 5 minutes to thicken it up.

I really hope you try this recipe – Let me know what you think and how it compares to other red sauces you’ve had!

Divine Tomato Basil Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This recipe makes at least 4 quarts of sauce.
Author:
Serves: 4 quarts
INGREDIENTS
  • 7 cans (15 oz/400g) of whole Italian tomatoes, crushed in the food processor
  • 3 jars (680g) of quality passata or 2 (28 oz) cans pureed tomatoes (use plain with no added seasoning)
  • 4 oz. fresh basil (1 large bunch) washed, stems discarded & roughly chopped
  • 12 large fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • Black pepper
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot on a low-medium heat.
  2. Add the minced garlic and onion and cook for about 3 minutes; do not allow it to brown.
  3. Add the tomatoes and season it with the salt, sugar and pepper.
  4. Then add the basil and stir well.
  5. When the sauce starts to let off steam, move the pot to the weakest burner and turn it on the lowest setting. Then cover the pot with a tightly fitted lid and leave it for no less than two hours or up to four hours to simmer.

 

Share