I think that one of the best parts of cooking is taking a recipe and adjusting it to your needs. This tomato sauce has to be the easiest on earth, it tastes great, and can be customized to whatever you have on hand.
First things first, this is Marcella Hazan’s recipe. Credit where credit is due, people.
You’ll need the following:
1 can Whole peeled tomatoes – the big one, 28 Oz, or two cups from your garden
1/2 onion, peeled
5 T butter
Thats it. Add the first three into a sauce pan, bring to a boil and then simmer slowly for 40 min.
Break up the tomatoes with a spoon or a masher as they soften.
Taste, season and serve.
It’s important to note that good ingredients count. Anytime that your ingredient list is the same number as the fingers one hand, try to use the bestest and freshest.
I talked about customizing, but I’d try it as described first. But, if you’d like to be adventurous add what you have. Wine? Add it in the beginning so the alcohol has time to cook off. Dried herbs and pepper flakes need time to loosen up, so throw them in the beginning. Add fresh herbs at the end of cooking time about 15 min before it’s done.
If you want to add garlic add it with the onion. Here’s an interesting tid-bit: traditionally, onions and garlic are not used together. Either one or the other. I’ve never heard of that before, so I chose to ignore it from time to time, or all the time. But, if you want to add a little color to the dish, saute them before you add the tomatoes. Hard things need more time to soften, so add them earlier (i.e. carrots, celery).
Amounts? About 2-3 oz of other vegetables; 2-3 tsp of herbs; 2-3 fl oz of wine.
Heart Healthier version? Use olive oil. This will have the biggest impact on the taste of the sauce, as the butter provides a huge flavor profile.
Either way, this sauce is versatile and adaptable. It’s a blank canvas on which create what ever you like. Mistakes really can’t be made here, just use stuff that you’d normally see in another tomato sauce.