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Homemade Tomato Sauce

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 4 huge onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 x 28 oz cans of peeled plum tomatoes in tomato puree (you can also pick up a 100 oz. can from bulk discount stores)
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning (optional)
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chopped parsley
  • 8 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)

Directions:

1.  Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot.  Add onions and carrots and cook, covered, over low heat for about 15 minutes until vegetables are tender.

2.  Add the tomatoes, dried herbs, salt and pepper, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and cook over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes.

3.  Remove the bay leaves. Puree the sauce using an immersion blender or by pouring the sauce into a blender, then returning it to the pot once pureed.

4.  Over medium heat, add the parsley and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.  Taste and correct seasoning. Add the vinegar now if the sauce lacks intensity.

Tips & Alternatives:

Don’t skimp on the olive oil. That is one of the ingredients that really adds to the flavor, and olive oil has nutritional value.

Think about adding ½ cup of sun-dried tomatoes as you add canned tomatoes.  You could also add 2-4 freshly roasted and peeled red peppers.

I store cooled, cooked sauce in 1-2 cup quantities in freezer bags. Press out as much air as possible, then label with content and date and freeze.

For a quick meal, heat sauce, add some fresh parmesan, a touch of cream and canned tuna. Serve over pasta. I’ve also been very indulgent and added lobster, shrimp or scallops to the sauce with cream. Plus fresh basil.

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