As much as I love cooking, I am here to tell you that there are certain products I will NEVER make from scratch and will shamelessly continue to buy from a store because let’s face it, they are just so good. Spending hours in the kitchen replicating the original gives you bragging rights yes, but it also inspires people to want to punch your smug face and it will NOT taste better than the original. So, peanut butter, mayonnaise, sriracha (sorry GP), Oreos, Ritz, Mallomars, Graham Crackers, flour tortillas, are perfect the way they are. Move on people.
But if there’s one product that with just a teensy bit of effort can be improved tremendously it is TOMATO SAUCE. Now, listen readers and listen carefully. If you are having one crazy military operation kind of day and jarred tomato sauce is all you’ve got, then by all means heat that sucker up, boil some pasta and call it dinner. It certainly beats the drive thru at McDonalds or KFC. This is a no judgment zone.
1 onion chopped
3 scallions chopped
3 gloves garlic chopped
2 28oz cans high quality crushed tomatoes (I use Muir Glen)
2 tbs olive oil
Fresh basil, chopped
salt, pepper, brown sugar to taste
Heat the olive oil in a non stick heavy bottomed sauce pan or a dutch oven (like a Le Creuset) and sauté the onions, scallions and garlic until softened and slightly browned.
Add the canned tomatoes, let it come to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let is simmer, stirring occasionally, for about twenty minutes.
Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Taste the sauce and if it tastes acidic (the time of year the tomatoes were canned and certain brands are more acidic than others) add a tbs of brown sugar. Taste again ten minutes later and add one more tbs of sugar if it still needs more sweetness. Repeat this process until the desired sweetness has been reached. Important tip: do not add too much sugar at once because if it’s too sweet you’re kind of shit out of luck.
Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens and sticks to your spoon.
Turn off the heat, add the basil, stir to combine. The basil will wilt and retain it’s color and taste. Beyond.
Serve over your favorite pasta (gluten free if you want) as a main, or as a side to grilled chicken and sautéed spinach or a salad.
So easy. So delicious.
Enjoy and always let your taste buds soar.
PS this recipe yields enough sauce to freeze for later use.