50 ml EVO oil
300 ml tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
50 ml red wine
Basil or oregano, to taste
|from 30 min to 2h
Who in the world has never heard of pasta? How many millions of people in the world include it in their diet nowadays? In some countries, Italy on top of all, people on average eat at least one portion of pasta a day. The first thing to know to prepare a good pasta dish is knowing how to make a good sauce for it, and one of the most common ones is “sugo al pomodoro”, the tomato sauce!
Here are some secrets to make the perfect tomato sauce.
Tomato Souce Directions
For the soffritto (sauteed mirepoix).
- Put a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil in the pan and cook it till hot over low heat.
- Cut the carrot into very small pieces (so that they soften quickly during cooking) and add it to the pan; leave it to cook for 2/3 min.
- Cut the onion into very small pieces and add them to the carrot.
- Let the onion and carrot cook over low heat until soft and of a golden brown colour. Be careful not to burn them or they will give the sauce a bitter taste.
For the tomato sauce.
Now it’s time to choose:
- If it’s a simple “sugo finto” (“fake sauce” as traditionally called in Italy because of its lack of meat), move directly to the next step.
- If you want to enrich your tomato sauce with vegetables or meat, follow this step: turn up the heat, add the vegetables/meat to the sauteed mirepoix; turn them on themselves till they turn brown each side – thanks to the Maillard reaction, a protective layer will form around the food being cooked, which will preserve its taste and quality during the next steps.
- Pour the wine in the pan over high heat and let it reduce while the alcohol evaporates. This technique is called “sfumare“, and will bring out the taste of the tomato sauce.
- Add the tomato sauce, which can be simply prepared at home using fresh tomatoes passed in a food mill, to remove the skin.
- Add the sugar and season with spices (basil, oregano etc. to taste) and salt.
- Let it simmer, then turn down the heat. Leave it to cook for 30 minutes for simple sauces or with vegetables, or 2 hours for the meat variation.
Visit our Extra Virgin Olive Oil recipe section to find more.