Classic Tomato Sauce
2 cups sauce or 8 (1/4 cup) servings
2 1/2 pounds fresh, sweet plum tomatoes
1 small carrot, peeled, grated or chopped
1/4 small red or yellow onion, minced or finely sliced
5 fresh basil leaves, torn, plus additional basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil
Remove tough area around the core of each tomato. Cut tomatoes in half crosswise and squeeze or scoop out the seeds. Chop tomatoes coarsely. Place in heavy saucepan and add carrot, onion, 5 basil leaves, and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Sauce should be fairly thick now. If still watery, continue simmering for 5-10 more minutes. Remove from heat.
Cool sauce slightly, then sieve through a food mill set over a clean saucepan. Press remaining pastelike mixture thoroughly to extract as much fiber as possible. Sauce should be light, the thick enough to coat a spoon. If still too thin, simmer it for 10 more minutes, uncovered. Just before serving, tear remaining basil leaves into small pieces and stir them in along with the butter or olive oil. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 5 days, or it can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When making ahead of time, leave out the butter or olive oil and basil. Stir them into the sauce after reheating.
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