A long, slow simmer of tomatoes, basil, mushrooms, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, sugar and a pinch of baking soda yields a rich, dark sauce. Stir in Parmesan cheese and keep simmering. Let the flavors meld overnight, then serve with your favorite pasta.
INGREDIENTS (for 8 servings):
- 4 (14.5 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 4 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
- 3 cups water
- 4 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 teaspoons white sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- 2 pinches baking soda
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Mix together whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, mushrooms, onions, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper, basil, and 1 pinch of baking soda in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for 4 hours minimum.
Stir in another pinch of baking soda; the sauce will foam. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and almost brown. Make sure to scrape the sides of the pan in to the sauce.
After the sauce is fork consistency, stir in Parmesan cheese. Watch that the cheese does not burn. Taste sauce. If it is too tangy or acidic, add another pinch of baking soda and simmer another 1/2 hour.
Cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight. The next day, reheat and serve.