When it comes to a classic tomato sauce, less is more. A real Italian tomato sauce has only 4 main ingredients, but it takes a lifetime to perfect. Here’s my recipe.
2 cans whole San Marzano tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, degermed and minced
5-6 leaves fresh basil
Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
In a big bowl pour 2 cans of whole San Marzano tomatoes (San Marzano is a type of tomato, not a brand). Now hand-crush your tomatoes, trust me, it makes all the difference. Never blend them! The metal blades will corrupt the natural flavor, tainting your tomatoes with a “tinny” taste. Plus, crushing tomatoes with your hands is fun and you get to create chunks to your liking.
Heat 4-5 tablespoons of the best olive oil you can afford in a pot, on medium-low. Add garlic & sauté until slightly golden. Add the crushed tomatoes and cook on low heat for 2-3 hours. It’s imperative you cook your sauce for 2+ hours, as this causes the natural sugars in the tomatoes to caramelize, making your sauce delightfully sweet without adding sugar (sugar makes your sauce taste uber-artificial.)
In the last half-hour of cooking add 5-6 leaves of fresh basil, salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. These are the core secrets to a classic, simple sauce – one that tastes fresh, is naturally sweet yet tangy, and perfectly subtle so it can play base to many other recipes. Enjoy.