The secret behind the best tomato sauces lie in the quality of your ingredients and your patience threshold. Real old fashioned italian tomato sauces you find in little glass jars topped with a layer of golden tinged olive oil in gourmet shops. But this one's so much better. I'm an American Dutch girl living in France and have no business in proclaiming the greatness of the kind of recipe that deserves generations of subtle reinventions. This recipe isn't mine. It's adapted from the stories my boyfriend has told me about his italian great-grandmother's days spent cooking giant vats of tomato sauce for days.
The secret is using fresh tomatoes, soup tomatoes count, and having patience... hours of patience.
7 pounds tomatoes
4 large onions
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar/honey/agave
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves minced
2 handfuls basil chopped
1/4 cup red wine
Chop and sautee onions and garlic in olive oil. Transfer to a giant cooking pot or dutch oven.
Blanche tomatoes and peel. Add to pot along with salt and sugar and olive oil and basil.
Let tomatoes cook for 6-8 hours* and add water and (or a dash of olive oil) if sauce becomes too thick. The sauce should reduce in size greatly by the end of cooking, turning from a watery soup into a thick sauce. Add wine towards the end.
*To get the sauce absolutely right in the italian grandmother way, cooking it for this long is essential. The cooking time can be adapted, but the sauce will have more of a fresh tomato taste than an unctuous sauce.