This traditional Sicilian tomato sauce recipe is from a chef I worked with years ago. It came from his Sicilian grandmother, and I’ve got to say it’s by far the best tomato sauce I’ve ever had. It’s so simple, and it’s really true that with some great quality ingredients and some time you can have the best Italian tomato sauce ever.
Quality ingredients are very important to this tomato sauce, I recommend that you get your hands on some imported Italian canned tomatoes. I actually prefer canned tomatoes over fresh in this recipe, I think they have a bit more intense flavor.
There is an age old argument over whether to put sugar in the sauce or not. For me it’s integral, it really does take away some of the natural bitterness that can come with the tomatoes and really does just round out this incredible sauce.
There’s not much prep in this recipe at all, but there is some time involved. I usually cook it for about 3 hours, but sometimes as long as 4. You can tell when the sauce is ready by the color it turns and the fragrance.
Sicilian Tomato Sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 onions
- 6 garlic
- 6 cans whole Italian tomatoes - 14 oz cans of real San Marzano
- 2 tbsp sugar - subsitute 1 carrot shredded
- 2 tbsp tomato paste - Italian triple concentrate
- 2 tbsp Italian herbs - increase based on preference
- Melt the butter and the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed sauce pot.
- When all the butter is melted, add the onions and garlic, salt well, and saute over medium heat for about 7 – 8 minutes, until the onion rings begin to lose their shape and soften.
- Add the canned tomatoes (with their juices) and bring to a simmer.
- When at simmering, reduce the heat and maintain a slow simmer for about two hours, stirring frequently.
- Add the sugar, tomato paste and Italian herbs (if using dried herbs add now, if using fresh, add about 10 minutes before blending), stir well, and continue to simmer for about another hour.
- Let the sauce cool a bit, then using a hand-held blender, puree until smooth.