Today I’m being a hypocrite.
If you’ve read this blog for, like, five minutes then you know that tomato sauce is not my favorite thing. While I enjoy some Italian food in moderation, it is still easily my least favorite cuisine and most tomato sauces can take a hike… unless it’s a just a small spread on pizza. I’d still choose white pizza first.
Pizza sauce amounts and consistencies are a huge source of contention in this house.
So a few years ago when I tried this original tomato sauce recipe? My mind was slightly blown that I loved it. It tasted so simple and fresh – and most importantly, light. Which is where I think most other tomato sauces get me. I find them to be too heavy and acidic for my liking, and it’s not like the pasta really helps because I don’t care much about that either. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that I’m an Italian guy’s worst nightmare. Probably his mother’s worst nightmare too. And grandmother’s. And… and… yeah.
Uh huh, that there’s a bottle of Bulliet bourbon in the background there. Don’t judge. It’s Monday.
Just my luck – I married someone Irish who doesn’t want tomato sauce 24/7. Crazy enough, he loved this sauce too. He loved it even more than I did, but does that really say a lot considering for the last five years I’ve served him some sort of marinara out of a jar? No. It does not. But still.
I find the original recipe to be pretty perfect. The only slight downside is that it still takes about 45 minutes, which for me in kitchen time is really not long at all, especially considering it’s really 40 minutes of sit-around-and-wait time. But I still thought it would be cool to have a way to make a really large batch of the sauce completely hands-off, to have it stored so I could stop buying jarred stuff. And it took a few trials given the liquid in the canned tomatoes and crockpot scientifics that I don’t really understand, but this is it… our favorite. I make it once or twice a month and freeze some leftovers. Then I totally OD on it and eat something else until I crave it two weeks later.
That is my life.
Yield: serves 4-6
Total Time: 8 hours
4 (28 ounce) cans of whole, peeled tomatoes
2 sweet onions, ends removed, peeled and sliced in half
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Drain 2 cans of the tomatoes, reserving the juice if you desire. You won't need it for this recipe.
Add the drained tomatoes, the 2 other cans of tomatoes (juice and all), the onion, garlic and butter to the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally if desired. The tomatoes will break down but near the end, I like to take a potato masher and crush them as much as I can. I prefer to remove the onion, but my husband likes to keep it in there, so it's your choice! Season with salt and pepper, then taste and season additionally if needed. Sometimes I need to add a little more salt and pepper. You can also add some dried oregano or basil if you'd like. Use as desired on pasta, pizza, casseroles, etc. This is a very simple, fresh-tasting tomato sauce. If you're a tomato sauce connoisseur, it may not be for you - add whatever you'd like to make it your own!
I've also stirred a 1/2 cup of freshly grated romano cheese into this and it's... amazing.
Ever wonder what the end of a photo shoot looks like when I’m hungry? Yeah. Like that.