One of my favorite things about the first chilly days in fall is making the house feel all cozy by slow cooking an amazingly simple, yet rich and complex tomato sauce. I can not overstate how good, and yet easy, this recipe is. And it will make your house smell great. Use this sauce on pasta (straight up, or with a little cream and vodka), with homemade ravioli (I’ll show you how in the coming months), in a lasagne or just drink it (yes, I know that last one doesn’t sound appealing, but I’ve done it and, wow, it really was good!). This recipes makes a lot, so use what you want and freeze the rest. Anything that you put this sauce will taste better than ever before.
Here’s how you do it:
1) Combine 5 to 7 peeled cloves of garlic and 3 Tbs. of olive oil in a large pot.
Step 1: Combine the garlic and the olive oil in a large pot.
2) Warm the oil up just enough for it to start bubbling around the garlic, then turn the heat down as low as it will go, cover the pot, and wait 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the garlic will be soft and slightly browned on one side.
Step 2: Cover the pot and cook the garlic over low heat for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the garlic should be soft and lightly browned on one side.
3) Add 4 28 oz. (about 800 grams) cans of whole, peeled tomatoes to the pot.
Step 3: Add 4 28 oz (about 800 grams) cans of whole peeled tomatoes to the the pot.
Here are the tomatoes, in the pot.
4) If you’re not already wearing an apron, put one on and then reach into the pot and carefully break open the tomatoes with your hand. This is where the apron comes in handy; no matter how gentle you are, one of the tomatoes will squirt juice all over you.
Step 4: Breaking the tomatoes up with your hand.
After breaking the tomatoes up, this is what they should look like.
5) Turn the heat up until the sauce just begins to simmer, then turn the heat down to keep it at that simmer and no more. Simmer for 5 to 8 hours. If the liquid seems to be evaporating too quickly, you put a lid on the pot or add more water. After about 6 hours of simmering, the tomatoes should be very, very soft, and the garlic will start breaking up.
Step 5: After about 6 hours of simmering, the tomatoes should be very, very soft, and the garlic will start breaking up.
6) After you’ve simmered the sauce all day long (and your house now smells amazing), puree it using an immersion blender, a food processor or a food mill.
Step 6: After letting the sauce simmer all day long, puree it using an immersion blender, food processor or food mill.
7) Taste the sauce. Often I don’t need to add any salt, but if it does, add it in small amounts until everything is just right.
That’s all there is to it.
To summarize the ingredients (you can also download the recipe):
- 5-7 stemmed and peeled cloves of garlic
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 4 28 oz. (about 800 grams) cans of whole, peeled tomatoes
- Salt to taste