Prepared tomato sauce is really convenient. The problem most of them come seasoned with Italian herbs, great for pasta dishes, but not suited to other dishes - basil is not our favorite herb for fish, as an example. This home made basic tomato sauce can become Italian, by adding basil and oregano; French cuisine, by adding herbs the Provence and capers; good for game, by adding thyme and rosemary; good for fish, adding bay leaf and white wine.
- Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion, and cook until translucent.
- Add diced tomatoes and sugar, stir. Cook on a low heat until thickened, about 45 minutes.
- Blend and pass through a sieve, or food mill, using a coarse screen. All tomato skin and seeds will be removed.
- Season. Simmer, if necessary, until the desired consistency has been achieved.
For more flavor, add 1 clove garlic, crushed, and 1 tbs parsley, chopped, with the onion. Experiment with herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, marjoram) and you will get amazing results.
Choose juicy tomatoes - plum tomatoes are usually good - not the firm kind you would use for a salad.
This basic tomato sauce freezes very well. You can make a large quantity and freeze in family size portions. The sauce might stain plastic, leaving a red mark. Use a freezer resistant glass container.
Use canned tomatoes in juice, whole or chopped, or passata when tomatoes are not in season.
Cook 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped, and 1 chili, seeds removed and finely cut, with the onion. Season with 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican oregano after adding the tomatoes. Chili can be removed before pureeing. If using chili powder, add with cumin and oregano.