Tomato sauce is one of those items that has been cursed by its commonality. Because the sauce is used so frequently it is often overlooked and prepared with little to no thought or effort. There are a few problems with this.
First of all, we don’t just eat tomato sauce. The sauce is used as a component in numerous dishes and so if it isn’t good those dishes won’t be good either.
The second problem is more of a philosophical one. If we can’t put in the effort to make something fairly simple the best it can be, what happens when we tackle more complex items?
A GREAT TOMATO SAUCE IS BALANCED.
What separates a regular tomato sauce from a great one? The answer is simple. Balance.
Often tomato sauces find themselves being either way too sweet or way too acidic. A great tomato sauce is balanced. There is a touch of sweetness, a hint of garlic, a mild acidity. The flavours should be subtle and leave you wanting more not overpowering and fatiguing on the palate.
THE PERFECT TOMATO SAUCE CONSISTS OF ONLY SEVEN INGREDIENTS.
The perfect tomato sauce consists of only seven ingredients. Tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil. Because there are so few ingredients they must be of the best quality in order to produce the best sauce.
It is perfectly okay to use canned tomatoes but don’t buy the discount brand. There is only a few cents difference between good canned tomatoes and mediocre canned tomatoes. We generally use San Marzano tomatoes which are grown and imported from Italy. They are not really expensive, but honestly make a world of difference.
THIS SAUCE IS A BASE USED TO MAKE MANY OTHER SAUCES.
You are probably thinking that this sauce is pretty boring. There isn’t any meat or vegetables. The reason being that this sauce is a base used to make many other sauces.
THE ONLY SEPARATION BETWEEN A GOOD DISH AND A GREAT DISH IS THE MINOR DETAILS.
This idea of taking the time to make the sauce the best it can be is really translatable to cooking in general. If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right. Right?
The only separation between a good dish and a great dish is the minor details. That little extra effort or time that makes all the difference.
This really is more of a philosophy than a technique but I promise you will be able to taste the difference. Thinking about food in this way, about taking the time, and putting in that little extra will change how you cook and how well you cook everything.