The Sauce Fiend Chronicles: Tomato

Quick and Classic Tomato Sauce

Quick and Classic Tomato Sauce

I am a sauce fiend.  Seriously.  The only real reason I miss being a meat eater is because I miss out on the sauciest food of all: chicken wings!  I mean, you get two sauces in one!  Spicy, sticky hot sauce AND cool, creamy blue cheese dressing?!  Come.  On.  I think I need to invest some serious time in making a tolerable veg version of these carnivorous classics.

My love goes deeper than saucy bar food though.  I am that person who always orders extra sauce on their pizza and lathers dainty noodles in arguably too much butter, béchamel, or just classic tomato sauce. 

Here is my recipe for just that: a classic tomato sauce.  Throwing this sauce together is almost as fast as opening a jar from the store.

Quick and Classic Tomato Sauce

Makes about 1 litre

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp white wine, optional
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 hunk of parmesan rind, optional
1 – 796ml (28oz) can of crushed tomatoes
2 – 4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
3 tbsp finely chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the onions with a bit of salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring often, for about 6 minutes or until the onions start to soften.  Add the finely minced garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes or so just to cook off some of that raw garlic hit. 

Add the white wine, if using, and the quartered cherry tomatoes and continue to cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes start to break down a bit.  Add the hunk of parmesan rind (if using) as well as the canned tomatoes, sugar (enough to balance the acidity of the tomatoes), and balsamic vinegar and stir to combine.  Cover the pot and lower the heat to allow the sauce to simmer away for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.  After 10 minutes, the sauce will be flavourful and quite bright tasting.  If you’re looking for a deeper and richer sauce, closer to the hour mark is where you need to go.

Finally, stir in the parsley and basil and season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy over pasta, on pizza, with roasted eggplant parm, or, if you’re like me, just dip a hunk of cheese into the sauce for a super weird snack.