Perfecting Tomato Sauce

What goes into a great tomato sauce? We have some tips. 

Looking to perfect the art of tomato sauce making at home? You should begin by deciding between a sweeter or more savory sauce. Sweeter sauces are usually found on deep-dish pizzas (such as Chicago-style) and simple pastas, while savory tomato sauce tends to be the preferred sauce for hand-tossed and traditional pizza crusts, as well as meat-based pastas.

Sweet Sauce?

The key to achieving a sweeter sauce (if that's what you're after)? Sugar. Aside from adding processed sugars like little brown or white table sugar, we recommend incorporating natural sugars. Try using at of carrot puree or sweet tomato into your sauce is; this will add just the right amount of sweetness without overdoing it.

Savory Sauce?

A more savory sauce can be achieved by adding some powdered Romano or Parmesan cheese, anchovies, garlic, or even worcestershire sauce. Earthly flavors help create a smooth and mellow flavor that compliment fat.

Seasoning & Simmering 

No matter what type of sauce you're making, good olive oil and seasoning are key. Adding quality seasonings, such as dried basil, garlic, rosemary, and oregano can take the flavor of your sauce to a whole new level without changing it’s sweet or savory base.

Another pro tip? Make sure you simmer. Slow simmering your sauce allows your ingredients and seasoning to develop into a rich flavor. 

To do this, bring your sauce to a light (not rolling) boil before you start adding your seasonings and spices. At this point, your sauce is probably just a mixture of fresh tomatoes, olive oil, water, and your savory or sweet additives. Once the sauce starts to boil, immediately reduce from high heat to low heat, add your desired seasonings/spices, and simmer for at least a couple of hours.

Sure, it takes a little time, but it'll be more than worth it when you're enjoying a flavorful slice of pizza or a complex bowl of noodles later on.

Have tomato sauce tips of your own? Let us know how you make the perfect sauce. 

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  • Charlie Egger

    I encourage you to re-hydrate the herbs. The acidity of the tomatoes prevents the full release of those flavor molecules. Really.

  • Michael Siebeneicher

    Try reducing the simmering time by using an Instant Pot. Use the saute function to start the process then reduce heat and continue simmering under pressure to drastically reduce simmering time. Instead of 2 hours be done in about 40 minutes.

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