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The Perfect Italian Tomato Sauce Recipe

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Original Italian Tomato Sauce
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We can all agree that Italian pizza is the best, right? And the reason lies in details. I mean, Italians are so strict about their recipes because adding the right ingredients in the right proportions is the only way to make a dish perfect. The same is true for pizza.

Just follow the recipe, and you will make one that is better than all those food chains like Domino’s or Pizza Hut. The essential part is to make a good sauce. Not the store-bought one, but a real sauce that you will make on your own. I will now show you how to do it.

It all begins with choosing the right tomatoes. When it comes to fresh tomatoes, varieties like Roma or San Marzano are ideal. However, if you’re not in Italy or fresh tomatoes are out of season, don’t worry. Canned San Marzano tomatoes are a fantastic substitute that you can rely on.

Ingredients for Italian Tomato Sauce

To begin, get the ingredients:

  • Tomatoes: 2 pounds fresh Roma or a 28-ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes
  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoons, I recommend extra virgin
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, finely minced
  • Onion: 1 small, cut to thin pieces
  • Salt: half a teaspoon
  • Basil: 6 leaves, fresh, torn them by hand
  • Sugar: just a pinch

Start by heating olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions, cooking them until they become soft and translucent, but be careful not to let them brown. The goal is to sweat the onions, preserving their natural sweetness without any burnt flavors.

Boiling Tomatoes in a pan

Now, it’s time to add the tomatoes. If you’re using fresh ones, blanch and peel them first. As for canned tomatoes, you can either crush them by hand or use them whole. Add the tomatoes to the pan along with the onions and garlic. Increase the heat to bring the sauce to a simmer, and then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. The slow cooking allows all the flavors to meld together beautifully.

While the sauce simmers, season it with salt. If the sauce tastes too acidic, you can add a pinch of sugar to balance it out. Occasionally give it a stir and use the back of a spoon to crush the tomatoes.

Add Basil to the Tomato Sauce

After 30 minutes, add the fresh basil to the sauce. Adding it in the end helps retain its color and aromatic flavor. Stir the sauce for a few more minutes to spread the fresh flavor of basil before taking the pan off the heat.

If the sauce turns out too thick, you can add a little water to thin it out. On the other hand, if it’s too watery, continue simmering until it reaches your desired consistency.

The final sauce should lightly coat the back of a spoon. It’s perfect as a base for pasta, a topping for homemade pizza, or even as a delicious bread dip.

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