Sometimes you have to just make it from scratch to feel better. This is a household recipe of ours that we alternate with other red sauce recipes. The idea here is to use as many organic items as you can, and enjoy the labor in the process.
45oz of Sweet Heirloom Tomatos (or Trader Joe's Organic diced or the like)
1 medium sized red onion (chopped)
2 sticks of celery (chopped)
1 small to medium bell peppers (seeded, chopped)
4 gloves of garlic (crushed or diced)
Sea salt or Kosher Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 heaping tsp Dried Oregano
1 heaping tsp Dried Thyme
1 heaping tsp Dried Rosemary
1 heaping tsp Dried Basil
2 tsp Cayenne Powder
1 Bay leaf (non-California variety)
1 heaping TBSP of un-packed flour
Extra Virgin Olive oil
-Big Dutch Oven, Large pot, or wide skillet with ample side height and a lid. The goal is to have a lot of surface area for the second hour of cooking which is uncovered and meant to remove excess moisture from the red sauce.
-Butcher Knife, cutting mat/board, can opener if using canned Tomatoes, spatula safe for the cookware you are using, Mashed potato masher, and possibly a garlic crusher.
First: Chop up your onion, celery, and bell pepper. Pour some olive oil in the cookware and let it warm up on high (hope you are not using a Teflon surface!). Once the oil has lost viscosity, dump in the chopped vegetables, 3 or 4 tsp of seat and the same of pepper and cook them at medium/high heat stirring quite frequently down to softness. Put in at this point the crushed or diced garlic (depending on how strong you want it) and let that get soft. If it all starts to darken, but hopefully not burn, it's even better.
Second: Now if your olive oil is almost completely smoked away, just add a small amount back and start sprinkling on the flour while stirring to thicken things up quick. You don't have to let it brown any more though.
Third: Once the flour is incorporated, put in your Tomatoes (in whatever form you could get. Canned and non-canned will have lots of liquid which is good here). Add all of your seasonings and another couple of tsp of salt and pepper. Stir to combine, bring to boil, reduce heat to fast simmer, and cover your cookware with a good sealing lid. Let this stew in the cookware for a good hour.
Fourth: Now that everything has stewed, remove the lid and mash down with the potato masher and check every fifteen minutes to see how much moisture has left, repeating the mashing each time. The wider the surface area, the shorter this last step will be. Typically, a 12 inch cook area with be finished in about an hour. Stir frequently to prevent burning on the bottom as moisture boils to the top looking to escape.
Fifth: Remove bay leaf when sauce is thick. At this point you can pour into a blender or use a stick blender if desired to make it that much more creamy. Otherwise it is ready to serve. Enjoy!
Variations: Are many, but mainly I just sometimes don't use celery and bell peppers at all, other times I only add crushed garlic right on top of the poured in Tomatoes for a more intense garlic flavor.