Confession time: I never made tomato sauce for pasta before. I KNOW, RIGHT? I have a lot of other pasta recipes down: Chicken scampi with red peppers was one of the first meals I started making after I got married, I make a mean fettuccine with diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, and I have a pretty excellent alfredo recipe that’s so ridiculously rich and cheesy it might as well be fondue. However, I never really went for it with tomato sauce. I was planning on waiting until tomatoes are back in season to give it a try (and I will definitely do it again when they are), but when the craving strikes, sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.
This recipe is a bit time consuming, but it’s mostly passive cooking time. Let it simmer while you get your other chores done, or, you know, watch a few episodes of Parks & Recreation, and you’ll have an awesome dinner (& leftovers!) before you know it.
- large onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 (28-ounce) cans whole plum tomatoes with their juices
- 3 whole heads roasted garlic, cloves removed from peels
- Peel garlic, drizzle with olive oil, and roast for about 45 minutes at 450 degrees. Meanwhile, start the sauce.
- Chop onion and simmer in olive oil in a large pot or saucepan until tender, about 6 minutes
- Add in tomato paste, salt, vinegar, hot sauce, crushed pepper and basil.
- Pulse tomatoes in a food processor until you reach the desired consistency. Add tomatoes to the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
- When garlic has finished roasting, add cloves to the sauce and simmer for about 40 minutes.
- The original recipe suggests just crushing the tomatoes with your hands – I like a less chunky sauce and I got a fancy new food processor, so the choice was pretty clear.
- I know I might seem biased because there hasn’t ever been a time in my life where “Maybe less garlic less time” has crossed my mind, but I don’t think that garlic taste in this sauce was overwhelming at all . Three heads may seem like overkill, but this makes a lot of sauce.
Recipe via Food Network