One of the five mother sauces in French cuisine, tomato sauce is so widely available that we cooks often choose convenience over texture and flavor.
The thing is, while commercial tomato sauce may cut down the cooking time, you also cut down on a lot of things.
- You pass off on the option to make a smooth or a chunky tomato sauce (yes, you have that choice!).
- You hand over to the tomato sauce manufacturer the freedom to determine how tomato sauce should be seasoned (there is only so much adjustment you can make with commercial tomato sauce).
- Most significantly, you give the manufacturer the right to put additives and artificial ingredients into your body.
Whenever we need tomato sauce for a dish, we make it ourselves. It’s not difficult, really.
Homemade Tomato Sauce
- Boil plenty of water in a pot. When the water is boiling briskly, add the tomatoes (see notes after the recipe).
- Cook in boiling water until the skins burst, about one to two minutes depending on the ripeness of your tomatoes.
- Cool the tomatoes a bit and peel off the skins.
- Place the skinless tomatoes in the blender (or use an immersion blender) and process to your desired chunkiness (you may also do this by hand; I prefer the blender because I don’t lose any of the juices that way).
- Heat the olive oil in a pan or pot.
- Over medium low heat, saute the chopped onion until translucent (you want the onion to sweat rather than brown so keep the heat down).
- Crush and peel the garlic.
- Discard the stalks of the oregano. Chop the leaves with the garlic.
- Add the garlic and oregano to the onion. Cook, stirring, for about a minute.
- Pour in the pureed tomatoes.
- Season with salt and pepper. Stir.
- Add a bit of sugar to cut down the acidity of the tomatoes.
- If the tomato sauce doesn't look as red as you want it, add paprika now — half a teaspoonful at a time until you're happy with the color.
- Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- And you have your homemade tomato sauce.