I have a few tomato sauces that I think are unique, and this is one of them. The flavor is more vibrant and lighter than most tomato sauces, which tend to be back-of-the-throat acidic. I like to serve this sauce over thicker pastas like bucatini or pappardelle, but it's equally good with brown rice or lentils. Garnish with cilantro to enhance the sour-sweet characteristic of the sauce. Yields 4 servings.
- 3 large shallots
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 big bunch basil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 anchovy filets
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 28-ounce can while peeled tomatoes
- Mince shallots, thinly slice garlic, and chiffonade basil.
- In a pot over medium heat, sweat the shallots with a pinch of salt about 8 minutes, then add the garlic and anchovy.
- Sauté until the garlic starts to brown and the anchovy filets have dissolved, a couple minutes more.
- Add the brown sugar and stir constantly for another minute until the mixture is evenly mixed and slightly darkened.
- Add the vinegar and cook, stirring constantly, for a minute until evenly mixed.
- Add the entire can of tomatoes with the liquid. Bring to a boil, breaking up the whole tomatoes (careful, they may splatter) while it comes up to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Stir in the basil and taste for seasoning.