This is Mario Batali's Basic Tomato sauce and it's by far THE best sauce ever. We make this in large batches and freeze it in smaller portions. Whenever we need a quick meal we grab some pasta, a veggie, and this sauce. Dinner in less than 15 minutes.
There are some important things to note about this recipe though. First buy the best canned tomatoes you can get a hold of. We use the Cento with great success. We've also used our own canned tomatoes. This is the base of the sauce and the better the tomatoes the better the sauce, don't skimp here.
Also use the fresh thyme. For the longest time we just used dried but recently tried it with the fresh. HUGE difference in flavor. We also keep the rinds from our parmesan cheese and toss it in for more flavor, but this isn't necessary.
* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 Spanish onion, 1/4-inch dice
* 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
* 1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
* 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
* Grated Parmesan, (optional)
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot, and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.