Perfectly Chunky Tomato Sauce with
Goat Cheese Crumble
This recipe came about because of an early childhood aversion to overly runny marinara sauce (an aversion that has continued well onto adulthood. I still cringe at anything that resembles overly-puréed tomato sauce). Anytime there was an over-abundance of liquid tomato on the edges of my pasta bowl, I would run to the stove and pour it back into the pot, along with an escaped noodle or two. As a result, my ever-ingenious mother perfected this sauce over the years, and it has served me very well in my college days away from home, due to its simplicity and accessible ingredients.
The recipe calls for whole tomatoes, which are then crushed by hand to preserve the integrity of the tomato, and makes a perfectly chunky consistency.
Perfectly Chunky Tomato Sauce with Goat Cheese Crumble
1 can of tomatoes (whole)
1 clove of garlic
Chili pepper flakes
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Goat cheese (optional)
1.Peel and finely chop one onion and one clove of garlic. Set aside.
2.Using a large bowl, take each tomato from the can individually and hold it over the bowl. Gently crush the tomato in your hand; using your fingers to pull the pieces apart. (*Hint: the technique to prevent the tomato from exploding is to hold it gently in your fist and slowly insert your thumb on the long end of the tomato and then crush it).
3.Continue until all tomatoes are crushed in bowl. Reserve the juice in the can for later.
4. In a medium saucepan, heat one tablespoon of butter and the olive oil to coat the pan. Swirl the mixture around a bit and drop in the chopped onion. Cook until translucent.
5.Add the garlic, oregano, and chili flakes. Stir to incorporate.
6.Pour in the crushed tomato. Stir. Add a bit of the reserved tomato juice from the can to make it less thick.
7.Add pinch of salt to taste.
8.Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
9.Use with your pasta of choice.
10.For a touch of tasty decadence, crumble a bit of goat cheese on the sauce while it’s still hot.
Note: you could chop the tomatoes on a cutting board instead of crushing them by hand, as an alternative. However, a lot of the juice gets lost this way.