10 red ripe whole tomatoes (beefsteak, use more for romas)
5 garlic cloves
1 cup fresh basil leaf
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
crushed red pepper flakes, for arrabiata sauce (angry sauce) (optional)
Wash, and core tomatoes.
I also like to cut the little “nub” off of the bottom of the tomato. Just the nub, and this will make it easier to remove the skins from the tomatoes.
Place whole tomatoes in a large pot and drizzle 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over tomatoes. Place lid on pot and heat over medium.
After about 15 minutes give the tomatoes a stir (I use a fork to do this), ensuring not to break them up.
– This moves the ones on top to the bottom to help the skins to become loose and to prevent burning any skins.
Cover and allow to cook for 15 more minutes.
After 15 minutes, take a fork and fish out a tomato from the bottom. Keeping the tomato in the pot, use two forks, or a fork and wood spoon to start removing the skins.
– NOTE: If you like, you can take the tomato out and place on a plate or in a bowl to do this, just make sure you keep the juices. If the tomatoes are not fully ready to be skinned, put the lid back on and check every 5 minutes. (This is the most time consuming part, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes really simple.).
After all or most of the skins have been discarded, lower the temperature to medium low and allow to simmer uncovered.
– This is simply stewed tomatoes at this point.
Once an hour, check the sauce and stir thoroughly. Using a wooden spoon, start to break up the tomatoes over the period of checking them.
– Note: Don’t break them all the way up on the first, second of even third time of checking them. Break them down over time.
After about 5 hours, smash all tomatoes with whatever instrument you can find that will work. Add garlic cloves whole, use more than 5 cloves if you like, I DO! (Do not mince/chop garlic)
Allow to simmer for another hour.
– If you feel the sauce has reached your desired consistency or is nearing, you can add the garlic earlier.
After 1 more hour, the garlic should be soft enough to smash easily on the side of the pot and the garlic will literally disintegrate into the sauce.
– If sauce is at your desired consistency, you can remove from the hot eye at this point and go to the next step, if you like your sauce a little less runny, or thicker, leave on and continue to monitor to your liking.
Once the sauce is to your desired consistency, remove from heat and add 1 cup of fresh basil leaves, stir. Fresh is important to making really good sauce.
– Salt to taste. If you like a little spice, add some crushed red pepper.