Thursday, August 03, 2006

Simple Tomato Sauce

The Pierce's dropped by with some gifted Roma tomatoes, so I whipped up a quick sauce immediately. Nothing gourmet here, really, unless you've never had a tomato sauce with some butter in it before. Try it.

6 Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (796ml) can crushed tomatoes
1 (156ml) can tomato paste

4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

Heat large pot of water to boiling. Cut a small X in at the bottom of each tomato, and boil for two minutes, then cool in cold water. Peel and set aside.

In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, paste, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. Add sugar. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.

Process ½ of the sauce until smooth, and combine with the chunky sauce. Serve.

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