Tomatoes + olive oil + minced garlic + a smorgasbord of spices = one happy Ashley.
I consume an ungodly amount of tomatoes. Not even kidding. They are one of my favorite foods. To me, there are few things as good as the simple joy of going out to the garden, the air heavy with the scent of tomato vine, and plucking a sun-warmed tomato right off the plant.
[Insert pleasant sigh as I reminisce.]
Therefore, mastering a recipe for my own tomato sauce has been high up on my list. Most of the store-bought variety felt lacking - they were either too bland, too watery, or just...meh. So I started trying different recipes and finally found one that makes me happy - it's robust, not too thick, and chock-full of flavor.
Homemade Tomato Sauce
A few words about this recipe: I developed this recipe after multiple attempts and it is based loosely on other recipes that I've tried. Here's the thing about good cooking - you need to play around with it and find what works for you. When I make this sauce, I don't measure anything so the recipe below is just for guidelines. I add ingredients according to what I want for flavor. Don't be afraid to try adding more/less of any given ingredient.
Also, this recipe is extremely versatile - you can use it with pasta, as pizza sauce, Parmesan chicken, or for dipping crusty bread.
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1-2 teaspoons Italian herbs mix
1/2-1 teaspoon onion powder
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
freshly ground salt, to taste
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon local honey
about 1/2 tablespoon ketchup
1 heirloom tomato, diced or 1 dry pint of heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
A handful of fresh basil leaves, julienned
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic.
2. Saute the garlic for a few minutes until it is fragrant and golden brown.
3. Add the can of diced tomatoes; stir well.
4. Bring the mixture to bubbling and then turn down the heat to medium. Allow it to cook for 2-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add all spices and adjust as necessary to taste. Stir well.
6. Stir in the honey and ketchup.
7. Allow the sauce to heat through for a 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should be hot, but not bubbling at this point.
8. Add the fresh tomato and allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes.
9. Remove from heat.
10. Add the fresh basil and then grate in your preferred amount of Parmesan.
11. Allow to cool slightly and enjoy.
Happy Monday, friends! I'm going to be announcing a new feature tomorrow so be sure to check back.
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