The first essential I teach a kitchen novice is how to make my basic tomato sauce. It’s simple, it’s delicious and it’s so my kind of Italian cooking it almost hurts. While I love my jarred pasta sauces when on the go, I highly recommend this classic recipe when you have time to channel your nonna.
Makes 4 cups
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, cut in 1/4 inch dice
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
Kosher salt to taste
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often.
Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.