Sa’iyda’s Yummy Tomato Sauce

Italian food is definitely one of my favorite types of food. It’s comforting, delicious and usually quite easy to prepare.

Growing up, a lot of my friends and my mom’s friends were Italian. That’s what happens when you grow up on Staten Island. I spent a lot of time at their houses and there is something very sensory about the smell of tomato sauce. It reminds me of Sunday mornings after sleepovers, big bowls of pasta and sitting around the family table.

Now making sauce is about convenience and affordability as well as nostalgia. Buying tomato sauce can get expensive nowadays and when I make it at home I can freeze portions that will last for months. This will come in handy if I’m low on money and still have a taste for pasta (because I always keep at least 5 boxes/packages in the cupboard). I also just love making my own sauce. The house smells delicious as the garlic and olive oil  begin to warm up. The tomatoes smell warm and homey. And there is something immensely satisfying about tasting your own sauce.

I used a few different kinds of tomatoes in my sauce. The foundation is crushed tomatoes and then I also used a can of diced tomatoes and a can of whole peeled tomatoes that I cut into cubes. I really like the taste of different sized tomato pieces. If you don’t want to use the whole I recommend using two cans of diced. But you definitely want to use some sort of chunky tomato. Make sure when buying your canned tomatoes that you aren’t buying anything seasoned or flame broiled. It will alter the taste of your sauce.

I only had a mild injury (we know boiling liquids and I don’t always agree), the sauce bubbled up and hit me on the wrist where I had previously burned my hand cooking chili. But fear not, it was a minor injury and left no additional scarring.

Also, make sure you cook the sauce at a low heat so as not to burn the bottom of the sauce. Don’t stir it constantly either, you want to let the flavors marry. Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of the pot because I think I got overly zealous about the eating of the sauce. Trust that it is delicious and sitting in my refrigerator and freezer.

Tomato Sauce

2 28oz + 1 14.5oz can crushed tomtatoes
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
1 14.5oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 1/2 tbsp. chopped garlic
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 6oz. can tomato paste
2 1/2 tbsp. italian seasoning
3 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

In a large stockpot, brown 1 tbsp. chopped garlic in 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil on medium-low heat. Once garlic begins to darken and become fragrant, add crushed tomatoes one can at a time. Stir constantly to keep the garlic from burning.

After adding all 3 cans of crushed tomatoes, add 1/2 tbsp garlic and the diced tomatoes. Add the cubed whole tomatoes and stir. Once sufficiently mixed, add tomato paste to begin thickening. Add 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning and 2 tsp. salt. Let come to a boil.

Once sauce is boiling, add the last 1/2 tbsp. Italian seasoning and 1 tsp. salt. Stir and let boil for an additional 5 minutes. Taste and see if sauce is seasoned to your liking. If necessary add more sauce, lower heat and simmer for additional 10 minutes. Once ready, remove from heat. Stir in 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese while still hot. Serve over pasta or in a tasty dish.

Sauce can be stored in refrigerator or freezer. I like to freeze sauce in small portions so make defrosting easier.

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