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BackstoryA "secret" recipe from an old friend and restauranteur...
- 2-3 pounds roma tomatoes, roasted, peeled, cored and chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 1 small carrot, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 bunch of Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 hot pepper, ribbed and seeded (optional) or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
- 1 bunch of basil, leaves only chopped (chiffonade)
- Mince the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, hot pepper, and parsley. SautÃ© them in a quarter cup of olive oil; start them all in a cold saute pan at the same time.
- Meanwhile, core and cut up the roasted tomatoes. Roasted tomatoes can be placed in a paper bag or Ziploc immediately after roasting. Let cool slightly inside the bag to loosen the skin and make peeling easier.
- As soon as the onion has turned translucent, add the chopped, roasted tomatoes and salt to taste in the pot. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, till the tomatoes completely fall apart.
- Once the tomatoes have reduced, puree the cooked mixture through a blender or food processor to make smooth. Return the sauce to medium heat, stirring frequently until it has thickened - about 35 minutes. When the sauce is done, stir in the basil leaves and turn off the heat.
- Let basil incorporate for 10 minutes or more before serving.
- Note: should you prefer keeping your tomato skins ON - try adding in the 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and be sure the skins are strained out of the sauce right before putting in the food processor or blender to puree and before incorporating the basil.