Standard Tomato Sauce
I've been making sauce for a few years now. The process started with my mom's recipe then altering it as i learned new techniques and flavor ideas. Some of these changes were based on tips from Mario and Giada, others I came up with on my own. This sauce is fantastic and can be eaten as tomato soup with a spoon.
Anywhere between 5 and 10 cloves of garlic depending on how garlicy you feel
To cut an onion like this, be sure to keep the hairy bottom part attached. That will hold everything together as you make your cross slices.
if you don't want to get your hands dirty, you can buy already crushed tomatoes, but I prefer to do it this way. Just wash your hands and get them in there! Squeeze all the tomatoes to crush them and remove any harder core pieces you find.
These are the rejected pieces. You don't need to do this part, but we usually do.
Why open both sides? You will see.
When we have the tomatoes in a big bowl like this, we go ahead and put the basil right in there.
My mom cooks the beef in with the onions when she is building the sauce. I no longer do this, I cook the beef ahead of time and add it later. This helps the other flavors develop more richness and complexity while they are sautéing in the pan. Most importantly the onions and the tomato paste.
Don't drain off the fat from the beef, add it right into the sauce. Sometimes there will be a ton of fat and in that case you can get rid of some of it.
This is the order that things go into the pot
Don't burn the garlic! Only cook it for 1 minute before adding the paste.
Look at that beautiful color!
Add the beef after 5 minutes.
We used fresh oregano which I like A LOT. If you don't get this, dried is ok, but I prefer fresh!
½ cup olive oil
2 medium white onions
7 cloves garlic
18 oz (1 and a half 12 oz cans) of tomato paste
½ lb ground beef
5 28oz cans of whole plum tomatoes
About 3 cups water
Half bunch of basil
1/3 cup of oregano
½ cup parmesan
½ tsp sugar
Crushed red pepper flakes
Chiffonade basil and oregano (small thin strips)
Open cans of paste from both ends
Open all cans of tomatoes and crush the tomatoes with your hands removing any tough pieces. You can do this in a larger bowl or in the individual cans
Brown ground beef with some salt
Get some olive oil in a pot and get it hot. Add one piece of onion. If it sizzles, continue adding the rest of the onions. If it does not sizzle, wait.
Add salt, pepper, and crushed pepper flakes.
Cook for 7 minutes. It should be sizzling the whole time but if the onions are browning, the heat is too high
Add garlic and cook for 1 minute only.
Add tomato paste with a pinch of salt. Cook this mixture while stirring for 5 minutes. Again- the cooking should be audible.
Next add the crushed tomatoes and basil and stir to combine everything.
Add the water. If you like the sauce thicker, add less, thinner, add more.
When the sauce has heated through and is almost at a simmer, add the parm, oregano, sugar, and balsamic vinegar.
Stir everything together and cover. Simmer on low covered for at least an hour. 2 hours is best.
Freeze what you don't use. It is perfect to take out of the freezer and cook with pasta for an easy weeknight meal.