10/18/13

Easy Homemade Italian Tomato Sauce

Easy Italian Tomato Sauce

I missed my kitchen while I was in Italy. There. I said it. I admit that’s a little crazy, but here’s the thing. I did a ton of traveling this summer, so I’ve barely cooked at all. And although I’ve eaten some amazing meals, I couldn’t wait to get back into the swing of normal life things. Like cooking. Sleeping in my own bed. Doing laundry in a real washing machine instead of hotel room sinks.

But alas, the grass is always greener. Now that I’m home, I miss traveling (no dishes! someone makes the bed for you!) – and I’m definitely longing for the Italian lifestyle. Like cappuccinos for breakfast. And gelato every afternoon. You know, the finer things in life. And speaking of Italian food, I was fortunate enough to bring home a recipe booklet from my Italian cooking class. I shared a quick video from the class with you last week, but I didn’t get to give you all the details. So here we go.

Easy Italian Tomato Sauce

Aqualina cooking school is run by a Venetian woman named Marika, who is a fabulous cook – and an even better teacher. She ran a catering business in New York city for several years, catering for clients including Dolce and Gabbana (!!). These days Marika and her family own a B&B in Lido, a super quaint island off of Venice, and she runs cooking classes on the side. Besides being a really fun experience, it was by far the best meal I had in Italy!

We made several different pastas and sauces, and I’ve already tried one of the recipes at home, successfully. I wanted to share this particular recipe because it’s easy to make, and perfect for your end-of-the-season tomatoes. You’ve got to know that this isn’t your typical American-style tomato sauce that completely smothers the pasta. This sauce is light, and actually, not very sauce-like at all. It’s much more like a compliment to the pasta. Cooking the tomatoes down with olive oil, garlic, basil and other simple ingredients basically caramelizes them, leaving them even more flavorful and juicy then they were. 

I couldn’t squeeze y’all into my suitcase to Venice, but we can pretend like you were there when you make this simple pasta sauce. Buon appetito!

Easy Italian Tomato Sauce

Easy Italian Tomato Sauce

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Ingredients
3 cups, grape tomatos
3 T olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup fresh basil
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp pepper flakes
1/4 cup white wine
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Instructions
Wash and cut tomatoes in half, lengthwise. [Note: If you’re using larger tomatoes, I’d recommend peeling them first]. Add 2 T of olive oil and the garlic cloves (whole) to a pan, and heat on high. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Let the sauce reduce for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard the garlic cloves and basil. Reduce heat to medium low. Add 1 T olive oil and re-season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for another 15-20 minutes.
Add to pasta, and top with shaved parmesan.

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