There is a version of a tomato sauce which is light: just tomatoes, garlic and olive oil, quickly cooked with some added basil. The tomato sauce in this recipe is longer-cooking, with vegetables added to it, making it more complex in flavor.
- Two 28-ounce cans whole San Marzano tomatoes crushed by hand, plus more if needed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/4 cup peeled and finely shredded carrot
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery, including leaves
- 4 fresh bay leaves or 2 dried bay leaves
- Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves. Slosh out the tomato cans with 2 cups of water and add that as well. Bring everything to a boil. Season lightly with salt and crushed red pepper. Lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 45 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Taste, and season with more salt and red pepper if necessary.