MAKES ABOUT 6 CUPS SAUCE
Chef Anthony Stella surprised me with his method for making tomato sauce. Forget about the traditional fresh garlic and fragrant basil as co-ingredients with juicy plum tomatoes.
Instead, onions wrapped in cheesecloth and Hunt's canned whole tomatoes are his choice because he believes that these tomatoes are sweeter and more consistent in flavor than the imported San Marzano types.
I was skeptical, but Chef Anthony made a believer out of me when he demonstrated this recipe on our series and confirmed that there is indeed more than one way to make a good tomato sauce.
It is important that the sauce cook uncovered, and that the sides of the pot be scraped down frequently; these techniques are the secret flavor enhancers. This is an all-purpose tomato sauce. Chef Anthony especially loves it on his homemade potato gnocchi.
1 large onion (8 ounces), peeled and cut in half through the root end
1/2 cup Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil
2 (28-ounce) cans of Hunt's whole tomatoes
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Fine sea salt to taste
Wrap the onion in cheesecloth and set aside.
Pass the tomatoes through a food mill over a bowl. Discard the seeds.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and pour in the tomatoes. Stir to blend the ingredients. Place the onion in the center of the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, and allow it to simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours.
Several times during the cooking, scrape down the sides of the pot. Stir in the sugar and salt. When it darkens in color and has reduced in volume to become thick, the sauce is ready to use, or to freeze for future use.
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