Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hand-Crushed San Marzano Tomato Sauce

Just because we're freezing our butts off here in the Northeast and there's not a tomato crop in sight doesn't mean we can't still enjoy beautiful homemade tomato sauce. If you missed the boat last summer of storing enough fresh tomato sauce to last through the winter it's not too late! Believe it or not, you can still achieve a beautiful pot of sauce from canned whole tomatoes. In this particular recipe, I chose to use a large piece of pork to add to my sauce pot, but you could throw in anything. Try meatballs, sausages, braciole, or even calamarri and shrimp!

  • Large piece of pork, about 1-2 lbs
  • Coconut oil
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 3 28oz cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes (if you have trouble finding them in the regular grocery store, try an Italian grocery or Italian meat store)
  • 1 tsp salt (plus more to taste, if needed)
  • 1/8 tsp pepper (plus more to taste, if needed)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Fresh basil leaves
  1. Prepare the canned tomatoes by pouring them into a very large bowl. Crush the tomatoes by squeezing them in your hands until all the large pieces are broken up.
  2. In a large 6qt saucepan, sear the pork briefly on all sides on high heat with 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil. Remove the meat, reserving the juices in the pan, and put the pork on a plate off to the side.
  3. In the same pan, saute the carrot and onion until soft on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and continue to saute another 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the can of tomato paste and saute another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the bowl of crushed tomatoes along with the salt, pepper, oregano, and bay leaves. Don't put the basil in just yet. Stir the pot well and then nestle the pork back in. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to simmer on low 3-6 hours. The longer the sauce cooks, the thicker and more fragrant it will be. You want to at least cook it long enough so that the meat falls apart when pulled with a fork. Taste regularly and add more salt/spices as needed.
  5. Tear apart 2 - 3 large handfuls of basil leaves and stir into the sauce right before serving to maintain the freshness and flavor of the herb. Serve over zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash.
Not a fan of getting my hands dirty. Gloves for the win!

Growing up, my mom and grandmother always added white sugar to their sauce to cut the acid of the tomatoes, but carrot actually does the same thing and is a much healthier alternative! Grated up small like this, you can't even tell it's in there.

All ingredients prepped and ready to go!
The Italian grocery store actually sells packaged pork labelled "for sauce". Perfecto!

Nestle the pork back into the pan

Fin! Bellissimo!

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