With all the creative and wonderful vegan recipes floating around the blogging world, you may wonder why I am posting a recipe for tomato sauce. The answer is simple. Sometimes it is essential that we revisit the basics. One cannot underestimate the value of a perfect tomato sauce! I have made many versions of homemade sauces in the past, but I adapted this absolutely perfect tomato sauce from the wonderful cookbook “Cooking The Whole Foods Way” by Christina Pirello. I consider this cookbook to be my “Betty Crocker” of vegan cookbooks. Every recipe I have tried from it was fabulous.
I find that a homemade sauce is so much better than sauce from a jar. I often make a big batch on Sunday and use it throughout the week. This sauce is excellent with the Tofu Spinach Lasagna I blogged about yesterday. A world of vegan possibilities opens up with a great sauce. I’m thinking about homemade pizzas, pasta dishes, and parmigiana dishes. What about seitan, eggplant, tempeh or tofu parmigiana with Daiya shredded mozzarella? You could even make a vegan parmigiana with the Gardein chicken cutlets or a sausage and peppers dish with Field Roast sausages.
Just start out with these simple ingredients…
Oops! I forgot the fresh basil! Btw, the onion shown in the above photograph is too large. You only need a small onion for this recipe.
Finely dice a small onion. Once again, this is too much onion but I wanted to show you the size of the diced onions…
You will also need to mince 4 garlic cloves for this recipe. Bad photo. Sorry!
Place a small amount of olive oil, onion and garlic in a soup pot over medium heat. When the onion begins to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and a generous pinch of dried oregano (or a few pinches of fresh oregano) and saute 2 to 3 minutes.
Add a 6 ounce can of tomato paste and 2 cans of water using the tomato paste can…
Stir until smooth…
Add 2 (28 ounce) cans of crushed tomatoes (or diced tomatoes) with juice, a light seasoning of salt, a carrot and 2 bay leaves…
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook, with a loose lid over pot, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally…
Remove carrot and bay leaves…
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in leaves from 3 to 4 sprigs of basil.
Cook, uncovered for 15 minutes more…
A PERFECT TOMATO SAUCE
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
3 or 4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
A few pinches of fresh oregano (pulled from about 3 or 4 twigs) or a generous pinch of dried oregano
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
Spring or filtered water
2 (28 ounce) cans of crushed or diced tomatoes, undrained (I prefer crushed tomatoes but the original recipe calls for diced tomatoes)
1 carrot, left whole
2 bay leaves
3 to 4 sprigs basil, leaves removed
Cracked black pepper
Place a small amount of oil, onion and garlic in a soup pot over medium heat. When the onion begins to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and oregano (or a few pinches of fresh oregano, if using) and saute 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomato paste, 2 cans of water (tomato paste can) and stir until smooth. Add tomatoes with juice, a light seasoning of salt, carrot and bay leaves.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook, covered with loose lid, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove carrot and bay leaves. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Stir in basil and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes more.
Side note: Whenever you make a soup or a sauce (or anything) with bay leaves, make sure to remove them before serving because they are a choking hazard.