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Basic Tomato Sauce

Basic Tomato Sauce

Makes 3 cups (enough to sauce about 12 portions of pasta)
1 medium red or white onion (5 ounces), peeled and cut into big chunks 
1 small carrot (1.5 to 2 ounces), peeled and cut into 2-inch or so pieces
1 small celery rib (2 ounces), trimmed and cut into 2-inch or so pieces
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
One 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, with liquid
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Fit the chopping blade into the work bowl. Chop the onion, carrot, celery and garlic on speed 6 for 5 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the work bowl.
  2. Add the olive oil. Cook at 100 C on speed 2 for 12 minutes with the measuring cap removed from the lid. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the tomatoes. Replace the measuring cap in the lid. Cook at 90 C on speed 2 for 20 minutes. Add the basil and oregano. Remove the measuring cap from the lid and let cool 20 minutes.
  4. Replace the measuring cap in the lid. Pulse the sauce to the texture that suits you. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

VARIATIONS:
Red clam sauce: Add the meat from 24 steamed Littleneck clams to the finished sauce along with a small (or big) pinch of crushed red pepper. 

Eggplant sauce: Peel a small (about 8-ounce) purple eggplant and cut it into 1-inch dice. (There will be about 2 cups of eggplant.) Add to the sauce along with the tomatoes. The eggplant will take on a silky texture after cooking and will break apart during the final pulsing. Add a big dollop of ricotta to your pasta before tossing with the eggplant sauce for a super-simple “Pasta alla Norma.” 

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