The real thing, much better than anything out of a jar or a tin. In Italy, particularly in the South, it is great fun, at the end of the summer, when family and friends gather together to prepare dozens of bottles of tomato sauce that will last for months. Every family has a recipe for this sauce, I have used this one for my whole life, and it has always worked well. If you do not like garlic or oregano, consider them optional but I think they add a lot to the final result.This sauce is not only the traditional Italian tomato sauce but is also vegan and the base to use to prepare countless other pasta sauces.
800g to 1 kg good, ripe Tomatoes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp sugar
Dash of red-wine vinegar
3 stems of fresh basil
1 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper
Extra-virgin oil, to serve
Cut a cross in the skin of the bottom of the fresh tomatoes drop them into a pan of boiling water and leave for about a minute, until the skins split. Lift out and peel, then roughly chop.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan on a medium-low heat and add the chopped onion. Soften until translucent but not coloured. Stir in the garlic and cook for another two minutes.
Pour in the tomatoes, and break up with a wooden spoon, then add the sugar, vinegar,oregano and the basil, reserving some leaves. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat and simmer for at least 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick. The longer you cook it the better the sauce will become. If the sauce thickens too much add some water and stir.
Test the seasoning, add the basil leaves, roughly torn, and drizzle in a little extra-virgin olive oil if you like before serving.
If you want to preserve this in bottles ,put the bottles in very hot,nearly boiling water to sterilize them. Let the bottles cool down a bit and fill them with a funnel with your warm tomato sauce. Top with a layer of olive oil and close with a cork. Done.