all back to basics recipes zuppa e salsa / soups & sauces

back to basics: classic tomato sauce

October 10, 2017

hi! welcome to my new section of the blog, back to basics. 

when i started cooking, i had no idea what the hell i was doing for a long time. it’s taken having an obsession with food and solely reading food related content for the past like 4 years to get where i am today, and i still have so far to go! even though i’m not an expert yet, i’m asked so many questions on the regular, i feel like a food encyclopedia! i get asked everything from “how do i eat healthier” to “what does “free range” really mean” to “how long do i cook this fish for?”, and i’m also always asked for things like my go-to recipes and favourite products.

since imparting my food knowledge onto other people is what i consider to be the height of fun, i thought i would have a spot on the blog dedicated to sharing with you some tried and true recipes you should have in your back pocket, basic how to’s, and general knowledge of italian cooking (and cooking in general). instead of sifting through the million (BILLION) recipes, articles and bits of information that google has to offer and trying to determine on your own which is the best, i’m gathering all of the things i’ve learned over the years in one place for you! make sure to keep me in your bookmarks for quick access, and of course, let me know if there are any specific questions or requests you have for this section!

first lesson in the curriculum: classic tomato sauce. this doesn’t even require a recipe, and something that you should always have the ingredients on hand to whip up. this is the BEST TOMATO SAUCE OF ALL TIME, it’s perfect for any occasion, anytime, anywhere, and i usually eat it with a spoon straight from the pot. i stumbled upon marcella hazan’s famous sauce from the essentials of italian cooking cookbook years ago and never looked back. i tweak it a bit each time, sometimes leaving the onion in and pureeing it, sometimes taking it out but adding some basil at the end leaving it chunky, but however you decide you want to make it, there’s no way you’re not going to be obsessed with this rich, bright, velvety sauce. it tastes like sweet tomatoes at their purest form, but with a silky, full mouthfeel.

all you need is 4 ingredients and 45 minutes – the perfect sauce to have in your back pocket for unexpected dinner guests, a cold winter night, or whenever you’re hungry, really.

the most important aspect is that you’re using san marzano tomatoes – look for the ones that are certified D.O.P – the rest is all to your preference!

basic tomato sauce

1 28 can san marzano tomatoes
1 stick unsalted butter
1 small white onion, halved
salt, to taste

add the tomatoes, butter and onions to a pot. bring to a boil and then reduce to low heat. simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up tomatoes by pressing them against the side of the pot with your spoon.

add salt to taste throughout the cooking time.

when done, you can remove the onion or keep it in and blend with an immersion blender.


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