Today I am going to share a special recipe, one that has been enjoyed within my family for years. What makes this dish so special? Well, other than it’s deliciousness, it’s my dad’s own, unique recipe. He has a true passion for cooking, mainly rich, Italian cuisine, which really shines through in this sauce.
This exquisite (it’s that good) sauce is rich, comforting and probably one of the best tomato sauces I’ve tasted. It’s filled with an assortment of vegetables which really add a nice depth to the sauce. The flavours all mingle together as the sauce cooks for about an hour on the stove. The aroma from the sauce, simmering away is incredible.
In order to make a great tomato sauce, you should use good quality tomatoes that are sweet and ripe. These can be found in jars or cans, imported from Italy. Traditional Italian tomato sauce usually consists of using generous amounts of good quality olive oil, onion and garlic. The sauce should also cook for a minimum of 45 minutes on the stove, to ensure the acidity from the tomatoes get released and evaporated. The long-cooking process also helps to achieve a nice, rich flavour and a thicker consistency.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 5-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 cup carrot, finely chopped
- 1.5 cups zucchini, finely chopped
- 1.5 cups mushrooms, chopped
- 1/4 cup black olives, chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup green bell pepper chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 28oz cans of diced tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup Jarslberg cheese, diced into small cubes (optional)
- 1/4 cup Asiago cheese, diced into small cubes (optional)
- Sea salt to taste
- Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add onions and sauté until slightly translucent (about 4 minutes).
- Add garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add carrots. Sauté for 1 minute.
- Stir in mushrooms and zucchini. Sauté for 1 minute.
- Add olives and green pepper. Sauté for 1 minute.
- Add butter and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add diced tomatoes and cook for 30 minutes. The sauce should be at a constant boil on medium heat.
- Stir in brown sugar, cayenne pepper, add in the vegetable bouillon and cook for additional 5 minutes to ensure the bouillon has dissolved.
- Next, using a potato-masher utensil, thoroughly mash the sauce to crush an large chunks of tomatoes. This step is important to achieve a nicely blended sauce. Salt to taste and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Stir in dried parsley and oregano in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Here is where you can add any desired cheeses. Simply stir the cheese into the sauce and continue stirring until completely melted (about 5 minutes).
- Remove from heat and serve over pasta.