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Tomato sauce is a staple in many kitchens around the world. Whether you’re making pizza, pasta, or any other dish that calls for tomato sauce, having a homemade sauce is always better than store-bought. However, not all tomato sauces are created equal. Some are bland and lack flavor, while others are too sweet or too acidic. In this article, we will discuss how to make a robust inspired tomato sauce that is full of flavor and perfect for any dish.
What is a Robust Inspired Tomato Sauce?
A robust inspired tomato sauce is a flavorful and versatile sauce made from tomatoes, onions, garlic, and a variety of herbs and spices. This sauce is typically thicker and richer than other tomato sauces, giving it a deeper and more complex flavor. The term “robust” is used to describe the sauce’s full-bodied and bold flavor, which is achieved by using a combination of fresh and dried herbs, along with other ingredients that enhance the tomato flavor.
Ingredients for Robust Inspired Tomato Sauce
To make a robust inspired tomato sauce, you will need the following ingredients:
- 2 cans (28 oz. each) of whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/4 cup of red wine
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon of sugar (optional)
Instructions for Making Robust Inspired Tomato Sauce
- Start by heating the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion and garlic to the pot and sauté for 5-7 minutes until the onion is translucent.
- Add the dried oregano, basil, and thyme to the pot and sauté for another minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the two cans of whole peeled tomatoes, along with their juice, to the pot.
- Add the bay leaf, salt, and black pepper to the pot and stir to combine.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the red wine, tomato paste, and sugar (if using) to the pot and stir to combine.
- Continue to simmer the sauce for another 10-15 minutes until it has thickened and the flavors have melded together.
- Remove the bay leaf from the sauce and discard.
- Use an immersion blender or transfer the sauce to a blender and blend until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Using Fresh Herbs for a More Robust Flavor
While using dried herbs is an excellent way to add flavor to your tomato sauce, using fresh herbs can take it to the next level. Fresh herbs have a more vibrant and intense flavor than dried herbs, and they add a layer of freshness to the sauce. Some of the best herbs to use in a tomato sauce are basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. You can add these herbs at the end of the cooking process to retain their fresh flavor.
Adding Meat for a Heartier Sauce
If you want to make your tomato sauce heartier and more substantial, adding meat is an excellent option. Ground beef, sausage, and meatballs are all great choices for adding flavor and texture to your sauce. Brown the meat in a separate pan before adding it to the sauce, and make sure to cook the sauce for an additional 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
Using San Marzano Tomatoes for Authentic Flavor
San Marzano tomatoes are a type of plum tomato that are grown in the volcanic soil of the Sarno River valley in Italy. They are known for their sweet flavor and low acidity, making them an excellent choice for tomato sauce. Using San Marzano tomatoes will give your sauce an authentic flavor and a rich, velvety texture. Look for canned San Marzano tomatoes at your local grocery store or specialty food store.
Roasting Tomatoes for a Smoky Flavor
Roasting tomatoes before making your tomato sauce is a great way to add a smoky and caramelized flavor to the sauce. To roast tomatoes, cut them in half and place them cut side down on a baking sheet. Next, drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes in a 400-degree oven for 20-25 minutes until they are soft and caramelized. Use the roasted tomatoes as a base for your tomato sauce, or chop them up and add them to the sauce for added flavor.
Using Wine for Depth of Flavor
Adding wine to your tomato sauce is a great way to add depth of flavor and complexity. Red wine works best in tomato sauce, and you can use any type of red wine that you prefer. The wine adds a subtle sweetness and acidity to the sauce and helps to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. Be sure to use a wine that you would drink on its own, as the flavor will be prominent in the finished sauce.
Making a robust inspired tomato sauce is a great way to elevate your dishes and add flavor and depth. Using a combination of fresh and dried herbs, along with other ingredients like meat, San Marzano tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, and wine, will help you achieve a sauce that is rich, full-bodied, and perfect for any dish. With a little practice and experimentation, you can create a tomato sauce that is uniquely your own and will become a staple in your kitchen.