It’s no surprise that I learned to make this Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce from an Italian chef. This simple and easy gluten free recipe is wonderful on spaghetti and the tomato flavour shines through extremely well.
There are three very important things to know before making your sauce. Firstly, use quality ingredients. Don’t cheap out on your tomatoes. If possible, use San Marzano tomatoes or any organic tomato that does not contain extra additives like citric acid or lots of seasoning. Salt is ok but too many additives mean the quality is poor and the manufacturers are tying to hide the fact through extra seasoning.
Second, always de-seed your tomatoes. The seeds are bitter and can cause your sauce to taste bitter as a result. Using a food mill is the easiest way to remove the seeds and is a great investment.
And finally, keep the amount of ingredients to a minimum. Less is more when it comes to making the perfect sauce. Just use a little bit of onion and garlic, not to overpower the lovely tomato flavour. Also, just use salt to season the sauce, and never use pepper. Again, this will overpower the sauce.
- 2 x 8 oz cans San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
- 1/4 cup good quality tomato paste
- 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 3 – 4 fresh basil leaves
- Salt to taste
In a medium size pot, sweat onions and garlic on low heat until translucent. Be sure not to brown or overcook as you don’t want them to caramelize. After about five minutes, add the tomato paste and continue to cook for a couple more minutes to release the flavour.
Add the deseeded tomatoes and allow to cook on low heat for an additional 20 – 30 minutes until slightly reduced. Check for seasoning and salt if required. One minute before removing from heat, tear a few basil leaves into the sauce. Remove from the heat and add another good drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil.
Leslie’s Top Tip: If you use good quality tomatoes and remove the seeds, your sauce will not be bitter. If you do end up with a bitter tasting sauce, do not fret! An easy way to balance out the bitterness is by adding a finely shredded carrot.