Monday, November 24, 2008

DIY Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce - conveniently pre-packaged in a glass jar - oh so easy. So many options. So affordable. So quick. Just add pasta.

But the store's just so faaaaaaar and it's rainiiiiing (that's the sound of me whining in my head). Good thing homemade tomato sauce is a snap, it's delish, and it's easy to keep key ingredients on hand. And it makes your house smell like that Italian Grandmother you always wanted.

Recipe for Whiny Winey Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 can of whole peeled tomato
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • Dab of tomato paste
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp combo of dried herbs - basil + thyme (if you have fresh herbs on hand, use them! Just stir 'em in at the end)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the onions and garlic. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes until soft and golden on the edges. Add a dab of tomato paste and stir, cooking about 1 more minute. "Deglaze" the pan with the wine and splash of balsamic vinegar. Turn heat to medium low. Open the tomatoes, and pour the sauce into the pan. Remove the whole tomatoes from the can and dice finely while smashing out some of the juice. Transfer to the saucepan. Stir in the herbs, sugar, salt and pepper, and simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes.

Okay, so it's easy, but not as quick as the stuff in the jar. But what's the rush? Pour yourself a glass of that wine and whine about your crazy ________ (a. Co-workers / b. In-laws / c. Boss / d. Neighbor) while you leisurely prepare the rest of your meal.

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