This post was last updated on August 27, 2014 to include new images and a recipe video.
I find that people are often surprised that I make my own tomato sauce. I think they imagine me spending hours and hours over the stove with tons of ingredients.
Truth is: it’s pretty darn easy and only requires a few simple ingredients.
Italian food is one of my many, many, many favorite types of food. Therefore, I make a lot of it.
To make great Italian food, I think it’s pretty important to make your own tomato sauce.
Now, I haven’t always thought this way. In fact, I used to buy pre-made tomato sauces. [Gasp!] It wasn’t until I tried a recipe for Simple Tomato Sauce by Giada De Laurentiis that everything changed…forever. [Insert dramatic pause]
Oh my goodness, this sauce is good. It is delicious in spaghetti, on pizza, baked with chicken parmesan, on meatball subs and smothered on garlic bread.
As its name suggests, this is a simple sauce.
The possibilities are endless…and tasty.
Watch me make this awesome sauce the video below!
Simple Tomato Sauce
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
- 2 cans crushed tomatoes 28-ounce
- 4 to 6 basil leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-4 tbsp unsalted butter optional
In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook for 5-8 minutes, until sweating.
Add celery and carrots and season with the salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 8-10 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer, covered, on low heat for 1 hour.
Before blending, remove bay leaves. If using a food processor, add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.
If using an immersion blender (possibly the best device ever!), just blend the sauce right there in the pot.
Once sauce is completely pureed, return to the pot. Add additional salt or pepper as desired. Add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to round out the flavors. (I usually wind up adding about 2 tablespoons). The butter will cut some of the acidity of the tomatoes.
If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.