There's tomatoes and then there's Tomatoes, with a capital T. The Tomatoes one of my coworkers brought to work yesterday definitely belong to the latter category. Fresh, plump, pretty much just-off-the-plant. My coworker's father grows them (along with other vegetables) in his garden and they are absolutely delicious. They were extremely ripe so I decided to turn them into tomato sauce right away, before it was too late. Making tomato sauce is not something I do very often, but when I do I enjoy every second of it, mostly because the whole house smells amazing five minutes into it.
Fresh tomatoes, onions, extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, salt and a little crushed red pepper. That's it. That's my recipe for perfect tomato sauce. Of course there's a gazillion different ways to make sauce, as many as there are Italian (and non-Italian) cooks. But this is the way I made it. And, believe me, it was amazing. I'm looking forward to using it all week long to cook several dishes I already have in mind.
Note: I don't peel my tomatoes to make sauce because I actually like the way the sauce stays thicker that way, but you are free to peel them if you prefer.
HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE
10 large tomatoes
2 onions, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
Crushed red pepper, to taste
A bunch of fresh basil
Place whole tomatoes and chopped tomatoes in a large dutch oven, pour some olive oil on top, season with salt and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, breaking the tomatoes with a wooden spoon as they become soft.
When tomatoes have cooked for about half hour, season with crushed red pepper, torn basil and toss it in the sauce. Cook for ten more minutes. Turn the heat off and let cool. Use sauce for pasta, pizza or whatever other dish calls for tomato sauce.