Ciao amici! I know there are as many different versions of tomato sauce as there are households in Italy, so here’s mine. It was handed down from my grandmother, who was raised on a farm south of Rome. Meatballs, of course, constitute another blog post; it’s coming soon.
Ingredients for Tomato Sauce:
2 medium onions
2 12oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
1 head of garlic
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 cups of soup stock (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
¼ cup of red wine (not a cooking wine – choose something you would drink)
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound of dried pasta (I’m a Barilla fan, but use whatever you prefer)
Step 1. Peel the garlic and dice the onions. Pour the olive oil into a pot over medium heat. Then put the garlic in right away. The oil doesn’t have to be hot yet, because you don’t want to cook garlic over high heat. When the garlic is golden -not brown – remove it and set it aside.
Step 2. Put the onions in the pot and cook for 5 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent. Then put in the tomato paste and wine. Once the tomato paste has spread throughout the mixture, it’s time to deal with the garlic again. Squeeze the cooked and softened garlic through a garlic press, and add the crushed tomatoes and stock.
Step 3. Turn the heat two notches below medium. Cover the pot, leaving the cover slightly askew. Let the sauce bubble and simmer for about twenty minutes, stirring every five minutes.
Step 4. In a small skillet or frying pan, melt the butter and add the flour. Let it cook until it has an almond or beige color. Now you have a roux. Remove it from the heat.
Step 5. Put 5 ladles of sauce into a blender and blend until smooth. Empty the blender into a second large pot. Repeat until all of the sauce has been transferred.
Step 6. Now that your original pot is empty, pour the roux into the pot, along with three ladles of the now-smooth sauce. Beat the mixture with a wire whisk, hand-held mixer or immersion blender.
Step 7. Once the roux has been completely blended into the sauce, put all of the sauce back into the original pot. Salt and pepper to taste, and let it simmer until the pasta is ready.
Step 8. Make your pasta according to the directions on the box. Remember to salt the water after the pasta has been placed into the boiling water.
Step 9. Enjoy!
Yes, this is a lot of sauce. However, you can freeze it in Tupperware for up to 60 days. Think of all the great dinners you can get out of this! Eggplant and chicken parmigiana, ziti, lasagna, manicotti….ok I gotta go. I’m hungry.