Making a homemade sauce usually means two things – good nutrition and good economic value. But this secret Italian sauce costs less and its freaking delicious.
From Italian pasta dishes to Mexican enchilada sauce… the tomato sauce has a special place in all cuisines.
As you well know “Nonna’s Recipe” is a well kept secret and a gold standard in many Italian families when it comes to pasta sauce. We have borrowed one key ingredient from Nonna, one secret piece to add to our tomato sauce and that`s a piece of carrot. Throwing a carrot in the sauce while it`s still cooking will absorb the acidity of the tomatoes which is essential for creating that sweet taste in your mouth.
We cannot imagine a slice of pizza or a plate of pasta without tomato sauce but what we often overlook is the nutrient value. Did you know that only a cup of tomato sauce contains a quarter of our daily recommended intake of Vitamin A and a half of Vitamin C? Tomatoes are also naturally rich with antioxidant lycopene and fiber.
Here is how to prepare our fresh tomato sauce with basil and garlic:
- Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Cooking time: 2 hours
- Serves: 6-8 people
- 5 pounds of peeled and seeded fresh tomatoes
- 1 carrot (one half should be grated and added to the sauce and the other one should be added at the end and removed afterwards)
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 3 onions (diced)
- 8 cloves of fresh garlic, finely minced
- ⅓ cup of fresh and finely chopped basil leaves
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme leaves
- 1 sprig of fresh oregano
- 2 bay leaves (don`t forget ro remove them when done)
- 2 springs of parsley
- 1 teaspone of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon of honey
Put a large stockpot on the stove and pour the olive oil over medium heat. Then add the diced onion and garlic as well as ½ of the grated carrot. Sauté around 6-8 minutes until you see the onions become all translucent and tender. Afterwards add the rest of the ingredients – tomatoes, oregano, chopped basil leaves, the fresh thyme leaves, parsley and finally the sea salt.
On low heat simmer for 2-3 hours or unit the sauce starts to darken. As we mentioned earlier add the carrot piece for the last 30 minutes to absorb acidity and the removed it together with the springs of herbs.
Optional: You can use an immersion blender to puree the sauce until it becomes smooth but if you want a ticker sauce than skip this step. The sauce is best served fresh but you can sill store it in the fridge for 1 week maximum or can it for later use.
Here are 4 dishes you can garnish with this delicious homemade tomato sauce:
- Zucchini lasagna
- Chicken cacciatore
- Chicken parmesan