Monday, July 5, 2010

Fresh Tomato Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

This is my favorite tomato sauce recipe, period. I don't make it any other way.  Here's what sets it apart.

1. It begins with a base of onion, garlic, carrot, and celery.  You won't notice these veggies in the finished product, but by then they have worked their magic.
2. It simmers for an hour.  The flavors have time to meld and concentrate, for maximum impact.
3. You puree it.  Thus, you've got a thick, consistent, vibrant red sauce that coats whatever you put it on.

1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
5 tomatoes
bay leaf
fresh basil

Add chopped onion and garlic to hot olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook until translucent, 5-10 minutes, careful not to burn the garlic.  Add chopped carrots and celery.  (At this point, you can deglaze the pan with red wine if you like, or not). Add chopped tomatoes, bay leaf, any herbs or spices you like (like red pepper flakes, onion/garlic powder, oregano, thyme, etc), and some fresh basil leaves.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.  Remove bay leaf.  Add more fresh basil, blend in food processor or blender until smooth, then return to the pan.  (You can add a tablespoon of butter, to round out the acidity, if you like).  Season with salt and pepper.


  1. Stoli and I were hanging out in the kitchen while Jeremy was making dinner last night. He told me how much he liked hanging out with you and that based on your conversations, he bet you'd like the dinner Jeremy was cooking up. Having been on vacation, the both of us were in serious need of some veggies so Jeremy made Mario Batali's Tuscan Cabbage and Bean Soup. It's a standby for him when he needs veggies and neither of us cared if it was 95 degrees outside. It hits the spot and was the perfect welcome home meal. He subs kale for the black cabbage. Mmmm!

  2. Oh my gosh, I TOTALLY understand what you mean about needing veggies after vacation. And, I couldn't agree more about soup. Who wants a cold salad for dinner? Not me. Soup makes me feel replenished and full, and I eat it even in summer. That recipe looks good, and of course I'll try it since you recommended it!