I don't like the industrial tomato sauces for pizza. So usually I buy the simplest tomato sauce that I can find and add some salt, garlic, and olive oil before putting it on my pizza dough. And until now, it was OK. But then I tasted a pizza at the Big Sur Bakery&Restaurant... And then I've tried the recipe of their tomato sauce at home... And then I've changed my way of looking at tomato sauce forever... Of course you can use this tomato sauce as a base in many recipes. Even simply on top of pasta sprinkled with (a lot of) Parmesan cheese. Yummmmmyyyy!
Tomato Sauce, adapted from the Big Sur Bakery Cookbook (p.238)
3/4 cup olive oil (I've used 1/2cup)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 small fennel bub, roughly chopped
10 garlic cloves
1 serrano chile, stem removed
6 16ounce cans whole organic tomatoes*
1 tbs kosher salt (more if needed)
1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions, carrots, celery, fennel, and chile, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook slowly until the vegetables caramelized, about 20 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes (with their juice) and salt, and bring to a lazy simmer. Cook for at least 1 hour. The sauce's red color will deepen and darken as it cooks. Basically, you're cooking out the moisture and developing the flavor.
3. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Check the seasoning, and add more salt if necessary. Let the sauce cool completely. Store in a plastic or ceramic container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
* NB for the people living in the US: I've bought the huge S&W can at Costco for only $2.99!