Fire roasted tomato sauce has a deep flavor and a vibrant color. You’re about to get a recipe and find out why it’s world famous.
OK, perhaps world famous is a large an embellishment. Let’s just say that everyone that I have served this fire roasted tomato sauce to has raved, asked for the recipe, then forever abandoned their former favorite pasta sauce. That, and my Hubby calls his favorite meals, “my world famous_______.”
I can’t take all the credit for this sauce, though. My Dad is a tremendous cook, and he came up with the formula for this sauce. Yes, I said formula. My Dad is a big Alton Brown fan, so he likes the nerdy, formula kind of cooking. That’s cool and all, but most people need a recipe to follow, so after many trials, I wrote one. Here’s what you’ll need:
For you geeky formula types, (Love you, Dad!) you’ll need roughly a 3:1 ratio of tomatoes to veggies.
Two cans of whole, peeled tomatoes, two cans of crushed tomatoes, one can of tomato puree, Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage links, equal parts onion+carrots+celery, garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, fresh parsley, Kosher salt, freshly cracked pepper, olive oil, red pepper flakes. Fresh mushrooms are optional.
Slice the carrots and celery rather thinly, and give the onion and garlic a good chop. Set them aside for a few minutes while you prep the sausage.
Heat the stock pot over medium heat, and add ½ Tbs. olive oil. Remove turkey sausage from casings and brown in the pot, breaking into small pieces as it cooks. Remove from pot and set aside.
In the same pot, over medium-low heat, “sweat” onions, carrots and celery with juice from sausage, or 1 Tbs. olive oil, until vegetables are very soft, translucent, and onions begin to caramelize. Stir frequently. (about 20-30 minutes.) These veggies are going to add richness to the sauce. Don’t worry about weird veggie chunks in the sauce–we’re going to puree them later.
Add a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in minced garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Set vegetable mixture aside.
While vegetables are sweating, gently squeeze the seeds out of the whole tomatoes. (Save the liquid.)
Place tomatoes on a foil lined 15 x 9 x 2 inch jelly roll pan. Broil until the tomatoes begin to blacken in spots, and then stir to turn them over. Repeat this step again until the tomatoes have a bit of black on all sides. (about 15 minutes total.)
This is enough. You don’t want to char them. No one wants to eat charcoal tomato sauce. Lightly fire roasting the tomatoes give the sauce a warm, smoky undertone.
Place vegetables, fire roasted tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and tomato puree in the empty stock pot. Then add dried oregano and basil, along with another healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Sprinkle in a few red pepper flakes, if using, and give it all a good stir.
Puree sauce with a hand (“stick”) blender (or in batches in a food processor or blender,) until smooth. The sauce will be very thick. Add some of the reserved tomato juice if you like your sauce a bit thinner.
Stir in browned turkey sausage and parsley. If you are a mushroom fan, now would be a good time to add them. Cover and simmer for 15-30 minutes. The sauce is good now, but if you have time, pop it in the fridge overnight. Then everything gets really happy.
I like to ladle the tomato sauce into these nifty quart containers because they have a screw-top lid. Leave about an inch of headroom, and store it in the freezer until you are ready to use it. It’ll keep for months, but it doesn’t last that long in my house. This sauce is great over pasta, chicken Parmesan, on pizza, and especially in lasagna.
And since I don’t like to let any of this fabulous sauce go to waste, I’m sure to get it all out of the pot with this tool:
In the interest of full disclosure, I have been known make a meal of crusty bread and a bowl of this fire roasted tomato sauce.
Yes, I said bowl of fire roasted tomato sauce.
Just keepin’ it real.