Here in Bend Oregon We have a foodie site online for local chefs, home cooks and true foodies to share recipes, restaurants and ideas. I came across a beautiful italian sauce recipe that was so intriguing and beautiful- you could just taste it from the pictures, how amazing it it must be. I had to know the secrets! To my surprised it was a friend of mine. Somebody who stole the heart of another dear friend and they recently married. What a tale of traditions, memories, and love- saved in a recipe. Her fathers family secrets of love in a sauce.
Meet Amber. When I reached out to her ( thinking she will never share the true secrets) she was excited to share her love for her father and Sicilian roots from the old country. “
“My father was born and raised in Palermo, Sicily. He taught me how to make all of our traditional meals when I was a child by putting me up on the counter when I was really tiny to watch him and then he let me help chop and stir as I got older. “
I can only imagine the love shared during those parent / child moments. It makes your heart long for a moment in time in that kitchen with child giggles and aromas filling the heart. A large wooden spoon to taste as you go along.
The sauce is made in a dutch over/crock part stove top and part in the oven. How simple.
Fresh ingredients and roasted. Its a no sugar recipe with the secret to the beautiful golden red color- carrots! The roasted carrots add the sweetness and cut the acid. Devine! From Amber herself… enjoy with love.
3 lbs of ripe tomatoes
whole large head of garlic (remove skin and leave bulbs whole)
2 medium carrots (medium dice)
2 stalks of celery (with leaves if you have it!) (medium dice)
1 large Shallot (medium dice)
4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme (3-4 inches long – stems removed)
4-5 springs of fresh oregano (stems removed and finely chopped)
Large handful of fresh basil (stems removed and finely chopped)
2-3 Bay Leaves
1 tablespoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of pepper
1/2 cup of freshly grated romano/parmesan
1/2 cup of high-quality EVOO
1/2 cup of dry red wine
1/2 cup of low sodium chicken stock
Preheat Oven to 425 degrees
Place dutch oven on medium on the stove and add the 1/2 cup of EVOO.
Add all of the fresh tomatoes and toss to coat in the EVOO.
Add the salt to the tomatoes after they are coated and let the tomatoes simmer for about 4-5 minutes
After the tomatoes have started to soften, add the carrots, celery, garlic, and shallots and toss to coat evenly. As the tomatoes soften it will add liquids to the bottom of the pan (that’s normal).
Let everything simmer for 2-3 minutes until the shallots become translucent. Do not let the garlic burn on the bottom.
Slowly add the red wine and chicken broth to the mixture. It will “deglaze” the pan a bit so be sure to get the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
Add all of the herbs to the mixture.
Let this mixture simmer on medium-low for 15-20 minutes and to reduce the liquid. By the end of the time, the liquid should be just below the top of the tomato and vegetable mixture. Top off with additional chicken broth if needed.
Place the dutch oven in the 425-degree oven uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until the tomatoes have burst and the carrots have roasted brown/caramelized edges.
Remove the dutch oven from the oven and return to the stove on low.
Remove the bay leaves.
Use an immersion blender and blend the mixture until it is smooth. (you can leave slightly chunky if you prefer.).
Remove any tomato skins that have not broken down or strain the mixture.
Add the freshly grated cheese or if you have a block of parmesan you can submerge the whole block with the skin (yum!).
Let the mixture simmer for 10-20 minutes on low.
Serve as is, add proteins of your choice, or let the mixture cool for freezing/canning.