Slow-Simmered Tomato Sauce

By • November 4, 2013 0 Comments

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Slow-Simmered Tomato Sauce

Author Notes: Nobody can beat my mother's marinara sauce, but I think I may have come close. I pinched this recipe from a fellow blogger, and tweaked it to my tastes. Whenever I make a recipe that calls for tomato sauce, this is the one I use. It's scented with balsamic vinegar, cinnamon, and orange zest, then simmered for hours until it's thick and jammy. You can use crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, or a mix, depending on how chunky or smooth you want your sauce. I love putting up a pot on a lazy afternoon, letting it simmer, then freezing the sauce in portions to have whenever I feel like it. ieatthepeach


Makes about 5 cups

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, finely diced
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed with the back of a knife
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes, or to taste
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced, crushed, or whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes, or until the onions are golden and sweet. Add garlic and chili flake, and cook, stirring frequently, for another 8-10 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and the onions are amber-colored. Use a potato masher or a wooden spoon to break the garlic up into chunks.
  2. Add tomatoes and tomato paste (if using), then rinse out each can with a splash of water and add the water to the pot. Stir in vinegar, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, orange zest, salt, and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to keep it at a steady simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for about 2 hours, or until the mixture has thickened and coalesced into a rich sauce. If you used whole peeled tomatoes, and you want smaller chunks in your sauce, use a potato masher to break up the tomatoes a bit. Discard bay leaf and cinnamon stick, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve however you like.
  3. The sauce will only get better as it sits. It’ll keep in a covered container in the fridge for about 4 days, or in the freezer for 4-6 months.

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