This comes from an eggplant parmesan recipe from Bon Appetit that was hard to beat. It takes time but makes a deep, rich and flavorful sauce that is just as good on eggplant parm as it is on pasta and pizza. Yes, you’ll need a few hours to commit to making it, but that’s what rainy Sunday afternoons are for. Just try it, it’s really terrific.
For a large pot of sauce you’ll need: x2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 red onion (roughly chopped), x6 garlic cloves (crushed and chopped), 2-3 Tbsp fresh oregano (roughly chopped), 2-3 Tbsp fresh basil (roughly chopped), 1 Tbsp brown sugar, x3 anchovy fillets, 1/4 cup dry white wine, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, 1/4 cup olive oil and salt.
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large oven-safe pot or dutch oven heat olive oil over medium heat and add chopped garlic. Stir well until just browning and fragrant – 2-3 mins. Add onion, anchovies and crushed red pepper and stir well until onion starts to turn translucent – about 5 mins. Add tomato paste and stir well over medium heat until the color begins to darken, about 1-2 mins. Add wine, stir well and allow to evaporate – about 2-3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, oregano, basil and brown sugar. Before it gets too hot again, break the whole tomatoes up with your hands, crushing them together between your fingers before the sauce begins to heat up. Swirl about 2-3 cups of water into the cans the tomatoes came in and pour this into the mixture. Stir well. Add salt to taste.
Place the pot, uncovered, into the preheated oven and roast for 2 to 2-1/2 hours, stirring once or twice midway through. The sauce should darken, thicken and reduce down.
Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly and then (and this is optional depending on how smooth you like your sauce) blend with a hand mixer until just beginning to get smooth while still retaining some chunky character.