Bottled sauce is awful (with the possible exception of Rao’s which sells in CT for over 6 bucks a jar). Making your own takes very little time.
Many years ago, when living in Detroit, I used to get my nails done. Those acrylic things, remember? The shop was owned by Sicilians (and yes I am pretty darn sure they were in the mob), and they were the nicest ladies (all family) in the world.
They taught me how to make sauce. Which is to say, how their Sicilian family had made sauce. You know, grandma and her grandma before.
This is that sauce with a few additions that suit my taste a bit more. I’ll point out my additions, so if you want the “real” stuff, well have at it.
Serve with meatballs, salad and good bread.
- 28oz good quality Italian tomato puree, whole, crushed or diced. Or use fresh romas, peeled and seeded to make about three cups
- Good quality EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) about 1/4 cup or a bit less
- 1/2 of a medium onion (Sicilians generally don’t add onions because it sweetens the sauce. I like my sauce sweeter)
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp hot pepper flakes
- salt (pinch) or more depending on whether tomatoes are salted
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp oregano or 2 tbsp fresh (my addition)
- 2/3 c good drinkable red wine (also my addition)
- 2/3 c good quality parmesan cheese shredded
- 1-2 tbsp sugar (optional if needed) (also my addition)
- 2 tbsp parsley (fresh if you can)
- Warm the olive oil in a saute pan while finely dicing the onion. Saute slowly to soften and until translucent.
- Add red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and then tomatoes. Add dried oregano, (fresh should be added with parmesan.)
- Using a microplane (absolutely indispensable these days), grade the garlic into the tomatoes.
- Simmer slowly, checking every thirty minutes until most of the water has evaporated and it’s fairly thick.
- Add the wine, and continue simmering until it reaches the consistency you like. About 2 hours in total usually about right.
- Add the cheese, fresh oregano and parsley and sugar if using. Add meatballs if using. Turn off the heat, cover and let set until dinner time. Hopefully a couple of hours at least.
- Reheat on low until hot.