You know that quote that fresh is always best? I think the brightest example of this is a Fresh tomato sauce cooked from scratch. Really, tomato paste or sauce can't compare to sweet and ripe tomatoes, especially those you can find during the hottest months of summer!
Canned tomatoes are always more sourish and have that tin flavor that needs to be covered with a generous amount of spices and/or herbs. Not to mention less nutritious.
But truth be told there are times (like in the middle of winter) where canned tomatoes are a necessity. How else could you make a hearty tomato & meat stew like this one?
When it's that time of year though that you can get your hands on juicy, sweet fresh tomatoes then it's time to enjoy a fresh tomato sauce pasta. So appetizing and flavorful, it even lifts that heavy flavor you get with a saucy pasta.
Ingredients Used In This Sauce
As for this Easy Fresh Tomato Sauce, it is so ridiculously simple to make that will definitely be your go-to tomato sauce. It's very basic, with no spices or flavorings, so you can dress it any way you like. And also it is made using just 3 ingredients. Olive oil, onion, and tomatoes.
When using very few ingredients though, go for top-notch quality. For example use a quality extra virgin olive oil, like this one. It adds that Mediterranean flavor to dishes like this (don't forget to enjoy it in luscious Greek salad as well) plus it helps to give a slight glazy-thickness to a sauce.
As for onions, I prefer red onions because they have a softer texture than white onions, therefore caramelize better. Which gives 50% of the flavor in this sauce and I will explain it in a bit.
And as for the tomatoes, you guessed it, they should be juicy, they should be ripe and ideally deep red in color to make the best fresh tomato sauce ever!
How To Make The Best Tomato Sauce From Fresh Tomatoes
There is one thing you basically have to do, bring out the sweetness of the tomatoes and reduce their acidity. And there are a few ways to do this. For one, as I mentioned above, use red onions and caramelize them. This will give a natural extra sweetness to the sauce, so make sure you pay some extra attention to this step and let the onions get really soft and deep golden in color.
You may blend this Fresh Tomato Sauce using an immersion blender and serve as a thick soup, along with a grilled, spinach, feta cheese, and pita bread sandwich!
For two, caramelize the tomatoes. Yes, there is such a thing, and it makes a huge difference to the final flavor. So after you caramelized the onion, stir in some of the chopped tomatoes, not all in at once so they will caramelize properly. Let the tomatoes drain and start looking mushy and thickened. Add a sprinkle of kosher salt to help with this and also stir occasionally using a wooden spoon. Then add some more tomatoes and repeat process until you have incorporated all of them. Then you can add a bit of water and simmer the sauce for a bit.
And thirdly, If you taste the sauce and still find it a bit sourish because the tomatoes weren't as ripe as they should be, you may add a bit of sugar to it.
Do I Need To Skin The Tomatoes To Make A Sauce?
No, you don't! This requires blanching the tomatoes to be able to remove their skin. And there are two reasons why I hate this process. For one, you lose on flavor by all this dipping in hot and cold water. And for two, no skin=big loss of important nutrients like Lycopene (anti-cancerous), Carotenoids, Amino acids, and Minerals.
But if you absolutely have to do without the skin, you can cut off the bottom of the tomatoes and then grate them using a box grater. This way you can separate the skin without the blanching process.
Flavorings You Can Add
Anything that comes to your mind really. But if you want few suggestions, then you can try these:
- Keep it simple by flavoring it using either fresh basil, fresh thyme, or dried Greek oregano.
- Saute some garlic along with onion and add a few Kalamata olive slices at the end like in this Olive Pasta.
- Add chicken, peppers, capers, and sun-dried tomatoes like in this recipe.
- Saute fresh mushrooms and add along with thyme and crushed garlic towards the last few minutes of cooking.
- Add a Greek spice mix cinnamon, cloves, allspice + sauteed eggplants.
- Or add crumbled feta cheese 1-2 minutes before you take it off the heat.
- Use it to make a Seafood spaghetti. I can't even begin telling you how good this sauce tastes with shrimps or mussels for example!
EASIEST Fresh Tomato Sauce (3 ingredients only!)
- 7 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ medium-sized red onion minced
- 4 medium-sized tomatoes (the ripest the better)
- kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
- OPTIONAL: ½ teaspoon sugar
- Remove the stems and bottom of the tomatoes. Cut them in half and finely chop them and place in a bowl.
- Heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a small saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and golden in color.
- Add about ⅓ of the chopped tomatoes in the pan, along with a sprinkle of kosher salt and cook until they drain and get mushy, stirring occassionaly with a wooden spoon.
- Add half of the remaining chopped tomatoes in the pan and again cook and stir until they get mushy. Do this with the remaing chopped tomatoes. NOTE: The reason we add the chopped tomatoes into the pan in small bits at a time, is because it's easier and quicker for them to drain and become mushy/paste-like this way.
- Once the tomatoes have drained to the point that they look like a thick sauce, pour in ½ cup of water and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and wait until the sauce starts to boil. Then reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes.
- Taste the sauce to see if it needs any extra salt. If the flavor is a bit sourish (depends on the variety and ripening of the tomatoes) you may add ½ teaspoon of sugar to enhance the sweetness of the tomatoes. Add your favorite herb or spices. Cook for 2-5 minutes uncovered and serve with your pasta. Or toss the pasta into the sauce and cook for a minute or two to combine.
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