First let me say, I’m an Irish gal married to an Italian guy. My mother never taught me how to make tomato sauce, so I’ve had to learn from different strangers and friends over the years.
There are a million ways to make Italian Tomato Sauce. I’ve tried so many different recipes. Things changed when I tasted my friend, Diana’s (Diana Bagels) sauce. It was by far the best one I’ve ever had and think you will agree. I’ve changed the recipe slightly to make it my own.
Now, before we get started, let’s talk about ingredients. If you want great sauce, you need to use top-quality ingredients. Everything needs to be fresh. Let’s face it, canned chopped garlic isn’t the same as fresh garlic. Same goes for basil.
Don’t be using Hunt’s or another cheap tomato puree. Go for the good stuff. If your local supermarket doesn’t have Tuttorusso, order it online, or substitute Progresso or another quality brand.
Now I realize Amore™ Italian Tomato Paste costs about $2.99 a tube. However, you only need 1/2 a tube and can refrigerate the other half. Figure a regular can of tomato paste costs $1.29, but you can’t save the other half and end up throwing it in the trash. Plus, the Amore is easily squeezed out of the tube. No more tiny cans!
Another important ingredient is your grated cheese. Here in NYC, we only use Locatelli™ Pecorino Romano Cheese. We don’t even call it Romano cheese. We just ask for Locatelli as if it’s the ONLY Romano cheese…LOL! If you can’t find it locally, order it online. It’s worth it!
And finally, let’s discuss meat. This sauce is delicious because of the high-quality meats that are cooked for hours in the sauce. It’s what gives it such a great taste. Don’t settle for supermarket pre-cut meats. Instead, go to a real butcher and splurge.
If you want, you can make your own braciole or get it already prepared from your local butcher.
Now let’s get started…
- Fresh Garlic peeled and chopped (2 handfuls)
- 1 White Onion diced
- 6 cans Tuttorusso™ Tomato Puree
- 1/2 tube Amore™ Italian Tomato Paste (or 1/2 can of other paste)
- Locatelli™ Pecorino Romano Cheese grated (3 handfuls)
- Red Wine (drinking wine, not the cheap cooking kind)
- Sugar (1/2 handful)
- Pinch of Dried Oregano
- 10 Fresh Basil Leaves chopped
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Fried Meat (meatballs*, Italian sausage, Beef Braciole, steak, etc.)
* Meatball recipe is HERE.
In a 8 quart stock pot, add enough Olive Oil to lightly coat bottom of pan.
Add fresh Garlic and Onion. Heat over a high flame until soft.
Add a splash or two of Red Wine. Lower flame on stove to medium.
Add Tomato Puree. Rinse 1 Puree can with a 1/2 can of Water to remove excess Puree from can. Poor into next Puree can and so on until the 6th can is full. Now add remaining Puree/Water mixture to stock pot. By doing this you get all the tomato puree and waste none.
Add Grated Cheese.
Add Sugar, Salt, Pepper, Basil, Oregano and Tomato Paste.
Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a low to medium flame.
Add lots of Fried Meat including meatballs, Italian sweet and hot sausage, braciole and steak.
Do not cover.
Cook for at least 3 hours stirring every 20 minutes to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the stock pot. Depending on how thick you want your tomato sauce, you can cook it for up to 5 hours.
Now that you’ve made fantastic tomato sauce, why not make some Eggplant Parmigiana? The recipe is HERE!