The World's Best Tomato Sauce: 7 Expert Tips

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Make a tomato sauce that rivals grandma’s secret recipe with these simple tips
The World's Best Tomato Sauce: 7 Expert Tips
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With a few simple tweaks, your favorite tomato sauce can easily go from good to great.

If you’ve ever taken time to cook with someone more experienced than yourself, you’ve probably already learned that the secret to any given family recipe is often as simple as a few cloves of roasted garlic or a splash of red wine. Anyone who has been cooking for years will tell you that small tweaks like these can build flavor and make a dish taste infinitely more delicious. Tomato sauce is no exception; regardless of the recipe your family may have passed down from generation to generation (especially if your family is Italian), the odds are good that the secret to its tastiness lies in a simple ingredient, prepared in a way that builds flavor.

Click here to see The World's Best Tomato Sauce: 7 Expert Tips (Slideshow)

When it comes to making anything from scratch, tomato sauce included, it’s important to start with quality ingredients. You don’t necessarily have to purchase the most expensive ingredients, but make sure that whatever you are using is of a good quality. If your recipe calls for wine, use a bottle that you’d actually drink. If it calls cheese, splurge on a high-quality, full-flavor block rather than using a cheaper (and less flavorful) version. If tomatoes are in season, buy them fresh from your local farmer’s market rather than using a canned or jarred variety. Starting with flavorful ingredients will help you create a delicious finished sauce.

Then, pay attention to the details. If a recipe tells you to cook the tomatoes until they’re charred, for example, be patient and do that; the char adds smoky flavor to a finished sauce. Similarly, if your recipe tells you to dice an onion to a certain size, take the extra time to make sure you do that so that the onion cooks evenly and to the correct level of doneness.

Simply using good ingredients and paying attention to details will go a long way in helping you produce a really good tomato sauce. If you want to take your tomato sauce to the next level, though, you’ll need a few extra tips. Read on for seven easy ways to make your homemade tomato sauce truly amazing.

Add Anchovies

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Before you skip over this tip thinking you don’t like anchovies, consider this; adding anchovies to your tomato sauce will add a rich umami quality without any fishy flavor. If you don’t eat anchovies often, try investing in a small tube (or jar) of anchovy paste instead. Love anchovies? Here are more ways to use them.

Cook Slowly

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The longer you cook the tomatoes, the more flavor they’ll develop (since they’re loaded with natural sugars). Keep the heat on your tomato sauce low so that you can cook it for a longer period of time. Click here for our best tomato sauce recipes.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.