A simple tomato sauce can go a long way -- mix it with some pasta, throw it on some chicken or fish, use it as sauce for pizza, the possibilities are endless. Because tomato sauce takes a while to simmer, it's better to make it in a bigger batch and freeze in single servings for later use. Simply defrost the sauce before you leave for work in the morning and come home to a beautiful homemade tomato sauce, waiting to be transformed into a wholesomely delicious dinner.
The key to a good tomato sauce is starting with a good base -- use fresh tomatoes if they're in season or canned. Plum tomatoes typically are better for sauces because of their high fiber content, the flesh holds together better and makes for a thicker sauce. Be sure to watch our tomato video to learn more, including how to pick tomatoes from the store, the numerous varietals available, and the different types of cuts.
SIMPLE TOMATO SAUCE
makes about 2-3 cups
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1 28-oz can tomatoes, diced or whole or 2 pounds of heirloom or plum tomatoes
- 3-5 large cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
Put the butter, onion and tomatoes in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a slight boil and add in garlic. Reduce the heat and keep sauce to a gentle simmer for about 40-50 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally and crush the tomatoes against the pot using a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, and set aside.
Once sauce is cooled, separate into resealable plastic sandwich bags and date and label. The sauce can keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. Now you will always have homemade tomato sauce at your fingertips -- just simply defrost before cooking.
I love using leftover sauce and placing them on top of zucchini noodles. It's a great alternative to people who have gluten allergies or just want to incorporate more veggies into their diet. I used a Paderno Vegetable Slicer to make the zucchini noodles. It's a great little tool that doesn't take up too much room and really adds a great textural effect to vegetables without any added fat.
ZUCCHINI NOODLES WITH TOMATO SAUCE
- 1 zucchini, 1/8" spiral sliced
- spoonful of EVOO
- salt pepper to taste
- 4 basil leaves, thinly chopped
- 1/4 cup simple tomato sauce
Clean zucchini and dry. Slice into spirals with 1/8" blade and place into a large glass bowl. Toss with EVOO and taste with salt and pepper. Finish with fresh basil leaves.
Place defrosted simple tomato sauce in a small microwave proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway in between. Place zucchini noodles onto plate and top with sauce. Serve with grated parmesan if desired.