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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Absolutely Amazing, Super Simple Tomato Sauce:)

I've said before that I haven't found a good home made tomato sauce recipe, and as a result, always use store bought jarred stuff...until today!  A few months ago, I found an excellent recipe, and have been editing it constantly- subtracting and adding ingredients until I think it's good enough to eat with a spoon!  Without further delay, here it is:

1-2 TBSP Olive Oil
Canned tomatoes (two cans of diced or a large 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes)
Balsamic Vinegar
Crushed Red Pepper
4-5 Sun Dried Tomatoes packed in olive oil.

To begin, finely chop your garlic (the amount you use is up to you: I like to make it fairly garlicky and use 1-2 large cloves, or 3-4 smaller ones) and sun dried tomatoes.  Saute it in the olive oil over medium heat until fragrant.  Add the tomatoes with the liquid the sun dried tomatoes and reduce the heat to medium low (if medium is a 5, then medium low would be about a 3 on a gas stove).  Let it simmer, covered, for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.
After the 20 minutes, it should have reduced quite a bit.  Add a splash of balsamic vinegar (again, this is up to you.  The purpose of the vinegar is to enhance the natural sweetness of the tomatoes.  If I had to give an actual amount, I'd say 1/4 cup of vinegar).  Add a tablespoon of the tomato oil to the sauce as well.  Return it to medium heat and let it simmer for another ten minutes.  Add the crushed red pepper (as much as you want- I like mine really spicy, while my family prefers it milder), and let it simmer for another three or so minutes.

Serve with gnocchi, pasta, etc.  This is particularly delicious with ricotta salata cheese.  I've also found that if you cook it for a bit longer, until it has a thick consistency similar to refrigerated maple syrup, it's really good with quesadillas!

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