Ciao readers, I hope you are having a great Fall season so far, I know I am, as it is always awesome to be in this great city at this time of the year. So, today I have a delightful recipe for you, actually more like a how to it’s my awesome Tomato Sauce Recipe!
With no sugar added, and very few ingredients, this recipe is going to quickly become a favorite in your home.
Let’s dig in!
A little back story:
As simple as marinara is to make, it’s probably one of the recipes that gave me the most headaches. The amount of terrible tomato sauce out there is staggering and I was always trying to find that perfect, “Authentic” Italian marinara sauce.
Here is the mistake you should never make when you are making marinara: DO NOT COMPLICATE IT.
In other words, you need to always choose the best ingredients you can afford and just put them together. For instance, a can of San Marzano imported tomatoes always beats your regular can of tomatoes.
Fresh basil, better than dried basil.
Fresh mozarella is the way to go.
Think simple. That’s it, that’s the secret.
I learned this from an old Italian friend, who almost lost his shit when I asked him why he doesn’t add celery, carrots and all other types of spices.
Another question that you probably should not ask an Italian is: “Why don’t you just buy your sauce from the supermarket?”
Things might go wrong pretty fast.
You see, Italians love their homemade stuff, and it’s easy to see why. Italian food is very simple, yet very easy to mess up.
This is a very important notion as Italian food is not about the cook, it’s all about the ingredients. So, get the best tomatoes you can, the best olive oil, fresh basil and some awesome fresh onions, and you will make great sauce.
My twist on Marinara:
I know what you thinking, I just gave you a speech about keeping things simple and now I’m about to add some more steps and ingredients to this recipe. Chillax, I only added a few little tweaks that take your classic Marinara from good, to awesome.
Let’s not forget that this is still me, I am not going to just make something in a so called “traditional” way just because someone said so.
I’ll be honest with you, in order to make your sauce “awesome”, you need some kind of sweetener in there. Most people add carrots or even white sugar. Yuck. Sugar, come on…
Here is my sweetener;
Yes, caramelised onions! I prefer to use red onions because they have that distinct sweetness that adds so much to the sauce once they caramelise.
As soon as the onions are completely caramelised, I add a splash of red wine to deglaze the pot, let the alcohol evaporate and there I have the perfect base to my sauce.
A little tip on the red wine:
- I usually choose a wine that is fruity and light. And remember that if it isn’t good enough to drink, it’s not good enough to cook with.
A sauce that is as easy to make as it is versatile to use. You can put it on top of pasta, pizza or on top of these Moroccan meatballs. The possibilities are endless.
I hope you will give this a go, and If you like this recipe, why don’t you check out Lea’s focaccia recipe, it’s the perfect bread to pair with this sauce.
Sugar Free Tomato Sauce Recipe
- 2 28 oz San Marzano Whole tomato cans.
- 2 28 oz Passata cans or tomato puree.
- Some fresh herbs of your choice. The quantity is completely up to you.
- 2 Tbsp of olive oil.
- 1 Large red onion.
- 1 Garlic clove.
- 2 Tbsp of good quality red wine.
- Salt & Pepper to taste.
- Start by warming up your olive oil in a deep sauce pan/pot on medium heat.
- Chop up your onions and add throw them in your pot.
- Once the onions start becoming a little more transparent lower the heat and keep on stirring.
- Make sure to keep an eye on your onions, if you feel that they are starting to burn add a tbsp of hot water.
- Keep cooking for about 15 minutes or until completely caramelised like in the photo above.
- Add your wine and stir.
- Once the alcohol evaporates add your tomatoes (puree and whole).
- Let it simmer on low heat for at least 50 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Stirring occasionally.
- Salt and pepper to your taste.
- Turn your stove off.
- You can use an immersion blender to smooth it up if you want, I like my sauce a little chunky so I use a potato masher to crush the tomatoes.
- Now is the time to add your favourite fresh herbs. I use a mix of basil, parsley and oregano that I grow on my kitchen window.
- This sauce can keep in the fridge for about a week, the sooner you refrigerate it, the longer it will last. It can serve easily 15 portions, or up to 20, depending on how generous you are with it.
Cost per portion 0.59 $CA Based on a 15 portion recipe. Side note: You can also make this on your slow cooker if you want.
Note: This recipe has been originally published in January 2017.