The tomato pasta sauce is such a basic sauce in every Italian household I just had to learn how to make it! In the past, this sauce would probably be an italian’s nonna’s go-to because of how easy it is to cook. The trick to a flavorful mean sauce would be to simmer it over low fire for a few hours before setting it aside for the flavors to further infuse with each other. This thus leaves them plenty of time to attend to their chores while magic is happening in the kitchen!
For all the meal prep lovers out there, incorporate this sauce in your menu for the following week and see how much convenience it brings. As a meal prep lover myself, this sauce has been so helpful because of how versatile it is and a pot can last me for up to 2 weeks.
Normally, I would use it as a sauce for my sandwich (lower calories as compared to mayonnaise), bake it with chicken and mozzarella cheese in the oven or even just tossing it with fresh pasta. Easy peasy 😀
Let me further share with you a useful storage tip. Let the sauce cool overnight first. After which, separate the sauce into single portions in ziplock bags and freeze them. In this way, this will ensure that the sauce will not turn sour quickly and you can thaw them easily 😉
This recipe has been modified multiple times to achieve functionality and convenience at the same time. The lazy me does not usually add any additional ingredients to my tomato sauce pasta because the sauce is already packed with protein and fibre! Albeit a little time consuming, the fresh ingredients used will ensure that you have a balanced meal no matter how busy you are.
The Italian Flair
Use this versatile sauce for your pasta, baked meals and even as a spread on sandwiches!
4 hrTotal Time
- ½ Cup (120ml) olive oil
- 1 ½ yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 can – Whole canned San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 pound fresh plum tomatoes (about 8)
- Salt and black pepper
- Eggplant (Diced)
- Minced chicken breast and pork (50g:100g ratio)
- Bacon / Pancetta (Diced)
- White button mushrooms (6 - 8 pieces)
- Red wine: I use Merlot but you can use any red wine in your fridge.
- Heat 6 tablespoons (90ml) of the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Coarsely chop one of the onion + smash two cloves of garlic and add it to the pan.
- Sweat the onion and garlic until they are soft but not browned, 4 – 6 minutes.
- Add the canned tomatoes, crushing them with your hand as you add them to the pan, and simmer the tomatoes until they start to breakdown, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Let the mixture cool slightly, then transfer to a blender (I use a hand blender) and puree until smooth. Set aside.
- Dice the eggplants and bake it in the oven.
- Dice the bacon / pancetta and fry till crispy. Set aside to cool with the oil.
- Mix the minced chicken with minced pork. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Have ready a bowl of iced water. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Using a small sharp knife, score an X in the skin on the bottom of each tomato. Blanch the tomatoes in the boiling water until the skin of each tomato begins to split and curl back a little from the X, 30 to 60 seconds.
- Using a strainer, immediately transfer the tomatoes to the iced water and let them stand until cooled, a minute or two.
- Starting at the X, peel the skin from each tomato and discard it. Cut each tomato in half lengthwise and dig out and discard the seeds, gel, and the base of the stem from each half.
- Finely chop the tomato flesh to form the tomato concasse.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons (30ml) of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Mince the remaining onion half and 2 garlic cloves and add them to the pan.
- Sweat the onion and garlic until they are soft but not browned, 4 – 5 minutes.
- Add in the baked eggplant and cooked bacon / pancetta (together with the oil).
- Add the tomato concasse and simmer the mixture until the tomatoes start to breakdown, 5 – 7 minutes.
- Add the reserved pureed tomato sauce and simmer the mixture for 15 – 20 minutes to blend the flavours and thicken the sauce.
- Add the minced meat into the sauce and stir till they all disintegrate to small lumps.
- Pour in the wine and simmer the sauce for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Taste the sauce, adding salt and pepper until it tastes good to you. Add in the Italian herbs at this step.
- Cool the sauce overnight and portion out into ziplock bags/containers. Freeze them.
Btw, I’m sold on making my own tomato puree because it is the game-changer when cooking your tomato sauce.
Tag me @theitalianflair on Instagram if you have tried out this recipe babe! Can’t wait to see them <3