How to make fresh tomato sauce from scratch
Forget the tomato paste. Instead, prepare this sauce made with fresh tomatoes.
To get the freshest, brightest taste out of tomatoes, cook them only 15 minutes. This sauce can also cook for an hour if you want to concentrate it and obtain depth of flavor (and plan to stir a lot) – but when tomatoes are ripe in the market and you bring home a good haul of them, this sauce is a lovely thing to put on the table. With pasta, of course, and plenty of grated cheese – or over fish or chicken, or even plain steamed potatoes. Every crop's sweetness or acidity varies, and that balance often varies from tomato to tomato. So dip a spoon in and judge if the sauce needs a little sweetening – a very little – or if it's fine the way it is.
- 2 pounds ripe, juicy tomatoes, any kind
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar if needed
- Freshly ground black pepper
Cut out the stem end of each tomato in a triangular plug. Chop all the tomatoes, reserving the juices.
Put all the ingredients except the brown sugar in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan.
Stir well, cover, and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes. Taste the sauce. If it’s more tart than you like, add 1/2-1 teaspoon brown sugar. Stir well, then taste again.