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Italian Tomato Sauce

When it comes to food traditions, what is better than Sunday Dinner? For us, that means a pot of sauce simmering on the stove, soon to be spooned over pasta - vermicelli or capellini if we have our way. This is the recipe of our family, and while we've come to realize that every Italian family likely has their own special recipe they would never dream of deviating from, we wanted to share ours all the same.

This will be the first of several Sunday Dinner recipes to share, and the base of many future recipes as well.

-Cindy & Lydia

 Italian Tomato Sauce Recipe-9.jpg Italian Tomato Sauce Recipe-7.jpg

Italian Tomato Sauce

2 28 oz cans of whole Italian plum tomatoes (no puree, but with basil is okay)
3 oz Italian tomato paste
1/3 cup of olive oil
4 whole cloves of garlic
8-10 leaves of fresh basil or half a teaspoon dry
1 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste

Special Equipment
Food Mill
Flame Tamer

  1. In a 4 quart sauce pot on low, heat olive oil. 
  2. Add the whole garlic cloves, and allow to slowly sauté until golden. If cloves are not completely submerged, I like to use the flame tamer to prop the pot up at an angle. Do not allow to brown. Approximately 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your cloves. 
  3. Place food mill over pot and turn heat up to medium. You want it to be hot enough that the tomatoes will sizzle a bit when you put them in.
  4. Run the tomatoes through the mill until nothing remains in the mill but skins and seeds.*
  5. Add in basil, paste, salt and pepper.
  6. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer, and place flame tamer** under pot.
  7. Simmer with lid slightly ajar for 1 1/2  hours, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings to taste.

*If you don't have a food mill, run the tomatoes through the blender briefly. If you prefer a chunky sauce, put the tomatoes in a bowl first and crush with your hands.

**If you don't have a flame tamer, be diligent about the stirring, you don't want it to burn in the middle.

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