Homemade Tomato Sauce

Here's a tasty idea for using some of those fresh vine-ripened tomatoes from your garden: make your own homemade tomato sauce. Nothing makes tomato sauce stand out more than when you use your own garden-fresh tomatoes. The flavor is just so much better than sauces made from canned tomatoes or even from fresh supermarket tomatoes. And, as this video demonstration points out, the fresher and sweeter the tomatoes, the less added ingredients are required to make a great tasting all-purpose tomato sauce.


Kimberly Maus: Sure it's easy to go to the store and grab a jar of pasta sauce for dinner, but why not impress your family by making your own? Italian restaurateur, Donatella Arpia, shows us how easy it is to do it.

Donatella Arpia: Hi! My name is Donatella Arpia, and I'm standing in the kitchen of my newest restaurant, Mia Dona, in New York City on Fifty-Eighth Street between Third and Second, featuring new Italian cuisine; and today we're going to talk about making tomato sauce from scratch. It's not that hard; I'm going to show you how to do it today. For the basic ingredients, you need to have garlic; you need to have fresh basil; onion is often found, it's not necessary, but it also imparts a sweetness; and I'm going to add a little carrot. I prefer natural sweetness coming from a vegetable as opposed to just adding sugar in.

Donatella Arpia: The first thing that you do with a tomato is to score it, which just means add a little cross on both sides; and we're going to drop them into boiling water for just a few seconds, and we take it out, and that makes removing the skin and the seeds very easy. As soon as you start to see the skin get wrinkly, you take it out.

Donatella Arpia: We are ready to make the sauce. I like to use extra virgin olive oil. Americans tend to think that Italians put a lot of garlic in their tomato sauce; it's really not true. It should just be a proportionate amount. You really want the tomatoes to shine through. Remember, don't burn your garlic, and if you do, you have to start over, because the oil will have a burnt flavor that will permeate throughout your sauce.

Donatella Arpia: My feeling is, as a rule of thumb, the fresher and sweeter the tomato is, put less ingredients in. The more the tomato is not so sweet, that's when you need to add your vegetables to compensate. Now, I'm going to add in my tomatoes, basil leaves, and pepper, and salt, of course.

Donatella Arpia: Here comes the hardest part: patience. The more you let your sauce simmer, the better it's going to be. You're going to keep it on a low simmer; you want to get all the water out. You want all the vegetables to meld together. You don't want to mess with it too much; resist the urge. You want to toss it every couple minutes, but that's it.

Donatella Arpia: So, here we are; we're looking pretty good. The sauce is chunky, not too liquidy, not too oily. Since I just made sauce, why don't I boil a little pasta and have a bite to eat? I always like to top it off with a little fresh basil on top, and many Italians do this: they add a drop of a little raw virgin olive oil on top. And, of course, parmesan cheese. Now, I'm going to have my fresh tomato sauce. Bon Appetite everybody!

Kimberly Maus: It looks great! To get Donatella's tomato sauce recipe, logon to Better dot TV. We'll be right back.

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