Homemade Carrot Tomato Sauce
This budget friendly tomato sauce is my secret tomato sauce. This recipe is best if started early on a weekend and allowed to simmer for a few hours. The local carrots will fully soften and meld with the sweet tomatoes. The carrots end up giving the sauce such a bright color and buttery flavor - you won't even know carrots have been added.
When in doubt, add a carrot.
One of my rules of thumb is when in doubt, add a carrot. Carrots are one of my favorite vegetables to always have on hand. They can easily add to more nutrition to whatever dish, whether it is pastas, stir fries, quesadillas, sautees, soups, fried rice, curries, you name it, add a carrot. Not only does it add color your dishes, but that sweet flavor is easily adaptable into so many different spice combinations and it adds more fiber and nutrition to dishes that most likely need it.
Set it and forget it.
Because almost everything I make is focused on making whole food dishes from scratch, I really love when I can make something for dinner that I can set and forget. That's why I love this sauce because it takes less than ten minutes to prep but I can have the pot on low on the stove most of the day and only have to stir it a few times. It really does well to just stew for several hours. Not only does it develop a more complex flavor when you slowly cook your sauces, but it allows you to do other tasks instead of standing in the kitchen all day.
If you are making it from scratch, make a larger batch.
If you are going through the effort of making something from scratch, why not make enough for a couple meals? This recipe is larger than most pasta sauce recipes because I feel like it's something you can incorporate with leftovers later in the week. If you are making something special, why not have enough that you don't have to meal prep as much the following day?
Immersion blender is your friend.
I've had my immersion blender for almost 10 years. They're about $20-$30 and well worth adding into your kitchen. They have redefined soups, sauces, smoothies, salad dressings and can make everything one consistency.
1. Peel and mince 5 cloves of garlic. Peel and finely dice onion as small as possible.
2. If you are using local and organic carrots, don't bother peeling carrots. Using a sharp chef's knife, chop the top and bottom off carrots, slice in half lengthwise, then slice again lengthwise so you have strips of carrot measuring about 1/4'' width. Group all slivers of carrots together in and finely chop carrots to resemble the size of your diced onion.
3. Heat a large sauce pan on medium to high heat. Add 4 T. Olive oil and once hot, add your onion and garlic. Stir until onion starts to lose some of its water and looks more transculent, then add your carrots. Cook until carrots start to soften. Add 1 tsp of sea salt to help the carrots, onion, and garlic loose their liquid. Grind 1/2 tsp black pepper.
4. Pour in the two 32 oz cans of diced tomatoes. Stir together, cover with a lid, and lower heat to low-medium and let simmer for several hours, if possible. Once the tomatoes start to come to a simmer, add minced rosemary and thyme.
5. Add 2-3 T. more of olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Thinly slice fresh basil leaves and stir into your sauce.
6. Once sauce is ready to eat and carrots are softened, immersion blend the sauce until it looses its chunks and becomes smooth.