Tomatoes are one of the most nutrient packed foods you can have in your diet, they are so easy to add into your diet and the best part? They are sure cheap too!
Tomato based dishes cost much less per serving than a dish that is meat or cream/cheese-heavy, and not to mention so much better for you.
Italian and Mexican cuisine are well known for having tomato based dishes at the heart of them, they are also two cultures which are famous for provide healthy, hearty meals with great fresh ingredients at the heart of them.
Over the years the US has lovingly adopted the tomato-based pasta dish as a national favorite, as chef Meggie Regan points out it is a staple dish that everyone should know how to cook, and it is her special recipe we are using here.
Since this recipe is held in such a high regard however, we won’t be stealing all of the secrets of the recipe, we have altered it slightly to help keep it sacred, we can reveal one of the biggest secrets of the recipe however, that is to add a piece of a carrot into the sauce while it is cooking, this will absorb the acidity of tomatoes and ultimately create a sweeter sauce!
Tomato sauce is best made fresh when tomatoes are in season, however bulk batches can be made when tomatoes are in abundance and stored in the freezer to use throughout the winter. It is great used as sauce for spaghetti dishes, as a base for an authentic Italian pizza, and can be added to soups and stews to create a richer flavor.
Tomatoes’ health benefits really can’t be over-exaggerated, they are an excellent source of vitamin C, biotin, molybdenum, and vitamin K. They are also a very good source of copper, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B6, folate, niacin, vitamin E, and phosphorus. Just one cup of tomato sauce contains a quarter of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin A and meets half of your daily need for vitamin C.
Additionally, tomatoes are rich in the important antioxidant lycopene, and is a great source of dietary fiber
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours and 10 minutes
Serves: 6-8 people
We can’t stress enough the importance of using organic produce for every aspect of this sauce. Not only will the flavor be richer, deeper and more natural, you can be sure that you getting all of the goodness nature intended with no hidden additives
- 5 pounds (3 kg) of fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded (to peel, cut a small “x” on the top and drop in to boiling water for 10 seconds and drop in to an ice bath; the skin will easily peel off.)
- 1 carrot (one half should be grated and added to sauce, and the other half should be added at the end of cooking and then removed)
- ¼ cup olive oil (or tallow)
- 8 cloves of fresh garlic (or more to taste), finely minced
- 3 medium onions, diced
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme leaves (or ½ tsp dried)
- 1 sprig of fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
- 2 bay leaves (remove when done)
- 2 sprigs of parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- Pour the olive oil into a large stockpot over medium heat.
- Add diced onions, garlic and grated carrots.
- Sauté for 6-8 minutes, or until onions are translucent and tender.
- Add tomatoes, chopped basil leaves, oregano, thyme bay leaves, parsley and sea salt.
- Simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours or until cooked down and starting to darken.
- Add the carrot piece for the last 30 minutesof boiling to absorb acidity.
- Remove sprigs of herbs and piece of carrot.
Use an immersion blender to puree sauce until smooth (for a thicker sauce, skip this step). Use the tomato sauce fresh, or store it in the fridge for up to 1 week, or you may can it according to your canner’s instructions for preserving tomato products.
Image Credits: Flickr