Sauce, Italian style

By TaylorGleason

For anyone who admires Italian food, they know recipes are often a guarded family treasure you’ll never set eyes on. But this homemade sauce is a good way to forge yourself into the family and get your hands dirty.

The first step is to heat the olive oil and sauté the onion.  You can chop the onion in any way you’d like or peel each layer apart and cook them that way.  It will take about five minutes until the onion becomes transparent.

Be careful not to heat the oil at more than a medium flame setting because olive oil can be toxic if it becomes too hot. After the onions are done, add the garlic and stir well.

Add the diced tomatoes next, the foundation of the sauce. You can use canned or fresh tomatoes. If you’d like to use fresh tomatoes, be sure to dice them and measure the ounces with a kitchen scale, or visually compare the volume of tomatoes to any 28-ounce can.

On top of the diced tomatoes, add the tomato paste and turn up the heat.

After stirring in the tomatoes and letting them heat a little, add the brown sugar.

Brown sugar not only counters some of the sour taste of canned tomatoes, but it has also been used in a few genres of ethnic foods to lower the painful side-effects of acid—specifically from tomatoes. After you’ve added the sauce, let it all boil and stir occasionally.

Once the sauce has come to a boil, add the oregano and black pepper. Additional spices that really enhance the sauce flavor are rosemary, sage and thyme. The ability to customize your own sauce recipe is a benefit of making it from scratch. Get creative and try out different spices and amounts.

After adding your spices, turn the heat down a little and let the sauce continue to simmer for at least another 15 minutes.

You’ll probably want to keep a lid propped on the pot to protect you from splattering tomato sauce, but only rest the lid gently on top, don’t cover the whole pot completely.

If you want to add parmesan cheese, add it last and let the sauce cook another five minutes to really thicken. Otherwise, you can sprinkle it over your noodles and sauce when the meal is ready to be served. The sauce will naturally thicken with time, so serve immediately, or make it far in advance.