- 5 pounds tomatoes
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 1 basil sprig
- 1 bay leaf
Step 1: Cut tomatoes in half horizontally. Squeeze out the seeds and discard, if you wish. Press the cut side of the tomato against the large holes of a box grater and grate the tomato flesh into a bowl. Discard skins. You should have about 4 cups. TIP: Put on a podcast or your favorite trashy TV show while grating the tomatoes to make time fly!
Step 2: Put tomato pulp in a low, wide saucepan over high heat. Add salt, olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, basil, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a brisk simmer.
Step 3: Reduce the sauce by almost half, stirring occasionally, to produce about 2 1/2 cups medium-think sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. It will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator or can be frozen.
That's it!! All done! Below are a few of my favorite ways to use this sauce.
Lunch: Spiralize some zucchini (or grate with your box grater). Lay the zucchini out on paper towels and salt. Let rest for 10-15 minutes, then blot out excess moisture with paper towels. Saute for 5 minutes in olive oil (add some garlic if you're feeling fancy!) until cooked through. Toss with the sauce and top with freshly grated Parmesan. Of course, you can always sub the zoodles for good, old-fashioned pasta if you're craving carbs.
Dinner: Buy pre-made pizza dough (or make your own! Smitten Kitchen has a great recipe) and spread dough out on an oiled baking sheet (I use one with ~1.5 inch sides). Top the dough with the sauce, fresh mozzarella, and olive oil before cooking per the crust's instructions. Add some fresh basil on top either for the last few minutes of cooking or after you take the pizza out of the oven. For a lower carb option, I love the Trader Joe's cauliflower pizza crust!