Of course there are places in the Strip where you can buy wonderful, quality tomato sauces – but I like the ability to customize my own sauce, and it’s less expensive than buying specialty sauces from the store. Also, I know that by making my own sauce, it won’t have any of the preservatives or other strange ingredients that sometimes make their way into the usual grocery-store brands.
When I saw the display of enormous canned goods in Sunseri’s, I could not help but buy a big can of tomatoes to make a very large batch of tomato sauce. This tomato sauce is extremely easy to make and uses basic ingredients you could find anywhere – you can get the fresh produce and herbs for this recipe at Marty’s, Stan’s, or Wholey’s, – I was shopping early in the day so I purchased all of my fresh ingredients and PennMac. When shopping for canned tomatoes, I like to look at the ingredients on the label to find one that contains only tomatoes, or maybe just tomatoes and salt.
It’s impossible for me and my husband to eat all of this sauce before it goes bad, so I like to divide it up into jars or small containers that I can keep in the freezer and pull out to defrost whenever I need them. If you have the equipment, you could also can it. I use this sauce in pasta dishes, soups, on pizza – it’s so versatile!
1 very large (6 lb 9 oz) canned crushed tomatoes
2 large onions, chopped
2 carrots, finely shredded
1 stalk celery, chopped
8 cloves of garlic
1 bunch fresh thyme, stems removed
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and garlic, and season with a little salt and pepper. (Be sparing in your use of salt if your canned tomatoes already contain salt.) Cook until they’re soft and just starting to brown. Add the carrot and herbs, cook until the carrot is soft and starting to brown.
2. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer for one hour.
3. Taste the sauce, and add a bit more salt or pepper if you like. If you prefer a chunkier sauce, go ahead and divide the sauce into small containers to freeze. I prefer a slightly smoother sauce, so I like to allow the sauce to cool in the refrigerator before pureeing in a blender. Do this in batches so as not to overfill the blender. Then place the pureed sauce into small containers for freezing.
Feel free to use this recipe as a basis for your own personalized sauce – for example you could use different herbs, add a little bell pepper, or maybe add some red pepper flakes for a little extra kick. 🙂