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Fresh Tomato Sauce

Serves: Makes 4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, halved and chopped into ¼-inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • ½ teaspoon dried red chile flakes
  • 1 (32-ounce) can Italian whole plum tomatoes
  • ¼ cup young red wine (such as Chianti)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar, to taste


Procedures:

If plum tomatoes are in season, use them to replace up to half of the canned ones. When buying canned tomatoes, look for a high quality Italian variety. Don’t shy away from the anchovy paste which lends a subtle savory note to the sauce. To balance the acidity of the tomatoes, taste and add balsamic vinegar by the tablespoon. This recipe can be easily doubled and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen sauce overnight in the refrigerator and reheat gently in a saucepan before serving.

Add oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until light golden in color, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add garlic, anchovy paste and chile flakes and continue to sauté, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and wine; bring sauce to a simmer. Cook until tomatoes soften and start to break down, about 15 minutes. Mash tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher and continue simmering to achieve a sauce-like consistency, another 10 to 12 minutes.

Add basil and stir to incorporate. Taste and season sauce with salt and pepper; add balsamic vinegar if desired. Keep warm until ready to use.

Recipe developed for Sur La Table’s Cooking Classes

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