Turn on some tunes. This is gonna be a long ride.
Put your phone or tablet in a ziplock Baggie, squeeze the air out and take a deep breath. Things are about to get messy. And freaking delicious.
Grabbing ingredients here. As usual, I recommend doing any chopping ahead of time. I omitted carrots and celery this time because we don't have any.
I roughly weigh my tomatoes to about four pounds (64 oz). This heirloom tomato is an unknown varietal but meaty Italian Heirlooms, Amish Pastes and Romas make great sauce 'maters.
Cut an X on the bottom of each tomato to prepare for blanching and peeling.
Throw your tomatoes about four at a time in a pot of boiling water. Count to 10 and check to see if they're peeling. If not, throw back in and count to 10 again.
Immediately remove the tomatoes and run under cold water or put in an ice bath to stop them from cooking.
Peel those suckers until they're totally naked. This is a great job for young kitchen helpers to assist with—but it does get messy. You've been warned.
Slice them in half or quarters depending on size.
Squeeze the seeds out over a strainer into a bowl. Seeds can cause sauces to taste bitter so you want to rid as many of them as possible. This is a great job for the kiddos—it's okay to be messy!
Save the leftover juices. You might need them later.
Put your seedless tomato parts in a bowl or pot.
Chop them with a knife on a cutting board or use a potato masher to smash them. I'm using a pastry cutter here. It works too.
Chop them onions if you haven't yet. Mince your garlic OR skip to the next step.
If you want your sauce very smooth, run your onions and garlic (and carrots and celery if using) in a food processor until smooth. It should smell potently divine.
Garlic onion smoothie. Omnomnom.
Heat up your oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the onions, garlic and carrots and celery if using. Cook about ten minutes, less if you made a paste out of 'em.
Pour in your smashed tomatoes.
Stir together to combine onion-garlic with tomatoes and turn down the heat to medium-low.
Set your sauce to a simmer, a timer to 30 minutes and let it cook, stirring occasionally. And rock out to the melodious sounds of Dustin Hatzenbuhler.
When your timer goes off, decide if your sauce is too thick or just right. If too thick, add a little of the leftover juices from your tomatoes, or throw in a splash of red wine. Continue cooking.
After about 45 minutes, add salt.
Turn whole basil into chopped basil via some quick knife action.
Add basil, stir and eat. Add browned, ground beef or turkey, Morning Star veggie crumbles, or Italian sausage for a traditional meaty sauce.
Enjoy over pasta. Store in refrigerator or freezer. Note: this recipe does not involving water bath canning so you should not store the sauce at room temperature.