Tomato Sauce, Basic

I was influenced by Mario Batali’s recipe in Simple Italian Food (1998, p. 84), but this version is less basic than his. Since I’m after taste not tradition, I think it’s okay.

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, shredded or chopped fine
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, sliced fine
  • 2 boxes Pomi chopped tomatoes, or 2 28-oz cans peeled whole tomatoes, smooshed by hand
  • 1 T dried thyme
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 T dried basil
  • salt and pepper

Heat oil to lightly cover bottom of heavy bottomed sauce pan briefly, then add onion and carrot. Sprinkle with some salt; saute/sweat until softened. Stir as necessary to avoid sticking. Add garlic, cook a bit more, then add tomatoes and canned liquid. Crush the herbs in your fist, then add (you can use fresh; just adjust amounts to 3 T fresh per 1 T dried). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes with no lid so some water cooks off and sauce thickens. Salt and pepper to taste.

Option: begin sauce with 1-2 slices of bacon or pancetta chopped into 1/4 inch cubes. Saute slowly to render fat, probably at least 10 minutes. Then add the vegetables, using the bacon fat instead of olive oil.