I love to have homemade tomato sauce on hand in the kitchen. Then it’s easy to make a pasta dish, or season a soup, or top a fresh pizza. Shallots, herbs and garlic from the garden make this flavorful sauce extra special. Today I will use canned organic tomatoes, rather than fresh, just because I am feeling kind of lazy and do not feel like blanching and peeling tomatoes. And canned tomatoes are one of the only foods that are actually more nutritious than tomatoes straight from the garden. The canning process helps to maintain more lycopene, which is an antioxidant that helps fight heart disease and cancer. Martha Stewart says so. Today I am going to use the sauce to make eggplant parmesan, with all the vegetables from our garden. Yummy!
I will use the rest of this sauce during the week on top of a grilled pizza or two, when I’m tired and don’t feel like fussing too much in the kitchen. Or I might put some sauce over a slice of ham, a couple of fresh eggs, top it all with some cheese, and pop it in the oven for a couple of minutes, just until the eggs are cooked. Delicious!
Simple Tomato Sauce
1 cup diced shallots or onion
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup good virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh thyme
1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
2 – 28-ounce cans of diced organic, fire-roasted tomatoes
¼-½ cup red wine, plus an extra cup to sip whilst stirring the sauce
1 tablespoon of brown sugar (optional)
Salt or a parmesan cheese rind, to taste
Sauté the shallot and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until translucent, but not brown (about 10 minutes). Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more. Add the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to simmer, and stir occasionally for 30 minutes or however long you want your house to smell heavenly. Season with salt to taste–or better yet, add the rind of a piece of parmesan cheese to the sauce while it is simmering. This will add salty flavor, but is much more complex! Once the sauce is cool, run an immersion blender through it to smooth it out, or smooth it out in batches in a conventional blender. The sauce may be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for up to 6 months.