Quick Culinary School Tomato Sauce

Quick Culinary School Tomato Sauce - You only need 5 ingredients to pull together this versatile chef-approved sauce! | foxeslovelemons.com

Before I was allowed to apply for admission to my culinary school, I had to pass a basic skills class. I’m sure it was designed to separate the serious from the lackadaisical; the ones truly interested in cooking vs. those who just wanted to be a TV celebrity chef. One of the very first things we had to demonstrate we could make was a basic tomato sauce. And you know what? This “basic” sauce was better than any pre-made sauce I’d ever eaten out of a jar. Today, I’m sharing with you the notes I took down as my chef instructor taught us to make this sauce.

Quick Culinary School Tomato Sauce - You only need 5 ingredients to pull together this versatile chef-approved sauce! | foxeslovelemons.com

  • Sweat, don’t brown, the onions – Cook them over medium or medium-low if you need to. You’re looking for the onions to soften and become translucent. You want them to release their flavor without browning.
  • Cook the garlic ever so briefly – Seriously folks, 30 seconds. That’s it. And if you throw the garlic in, forget about it, and burn the living daylights out of it? Just start over. Nobody wants to eat sauce made with bitter, burned garlic.
  • Use roughly chopped, whole peeled tomatoes – Reading this post in the summer, when there are great, fresh, in-season tomatoes? Cool. It’s February as I write this, and even the best chefs know that certain canned items deliver a superior quality vs. an out-of-season product. I used Red Gold Whole Peeled Tomatoes here. These whole Roma tomatoes have the optimum combination of perfect texture, sweetness, color, and consistency – all year ’round.
  • Do NOT simmer this sauce all day – If you have a hearty meat sauce with lots of big flavors – sure, simmer that all afternoon. But this simple, light tomato sauce needs only 15 minutes to slightly reduce and concentrate its flavors.
  • Add dried herbs at the beginning; add fresh herbs at the end – Dried herbs and spices (if using) will release their flavor as they cook, whereas you’ll kill the flavor of fresh herbs if you simmer them too long.
  • Season with salt and pepper just before serving – If you add the salt up front, your sauce may be too salty once it reduces.

Quick Culinary School Tomato Sauce - You only need 5 ingredients to pull together this versatile chef-approved sauce! | foxeslovelemons.com

About those tomatoes. Red Gold invited me to do an at-home comparison of their tomatoes versus a competitor’s product. The photo above says it all. I simply opened the cans and dumped them into side-by-side trays, and the difference was immediately quite clear. In addition, Red Gold is now Non GMO Project Verified, and all of their tomatoes are packed in 100% recyclable Non-BPA/BPS lined cans. There’s a lot of love about Red Gold!

Red Gold has been growing their tomatoes on Midwest family farms for more than 70 years. For more information, please connect with Red Gold on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

Quick Culinary School Tomato Sauce

Yield: About 5 cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) Red Gold Whole Peeled Tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves

Directions:

  1. Remove tomatoes from their juice; reserve juice. Roughly chop tomatoes.
  2. In medium saucepot, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is just softened and translucent (do not brown), stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in garlic. Cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, then reduce to low. Simmer 15 minutes or until thickened to a sauce-like consistency.
  5. Stir in salt, pepper and basil.

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Disclosure: As a Red Gold Ambassador, this was a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the brand. Sponsored posts help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.

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4 comments

  1. Thanks for the easy recipe and the info on Red Gold.

    I am not a chef at all but a lot of the recipes I see and read have sugar added to the sauce to cut the acidity. What are your thoughts on that?

    • Hi Claudia. Thanks for stopping by! I sometimes do add a pinch of sugar when I’m working with fresh tomatoes that aren’t quite sweet enough. I find Red Gold canned tomatoes to be nice and sweet, so I didn’t use sugar here. I think it’s mainly a matter of personal taste, and if you prefer a sweeter or more acidic sauce.

  2. Another two questions……
    1) How long, once made, will this last in a glass jar in the fridge? 2) Can this be frozen and if so, how is the best way so there wont be freezer burn? Thanks!

    • Hi again, Claudia. Once made, this sauce will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator. It can be frozen, but be aware that the texture may change a little bit once it’s thawed and heated up again. I freeze my sauces in either mason jars, or plastic deli containers. The important thing is to pick a container that the sauce *just* fits into, without much “extra space” at the top for freezer burn. Yuck!

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