4 (28 oz) cans whole peeled tomatoes
1/4 cup EVOO
4 T unsalted butter
8 cloves garlic, minced (fresh!)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 carrot, cut into large chunks
1 medium onion, cut in half
1 large stem fresh basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley or basil leaves or a mix of the two
This recipe is for a Dutch oven sauce. Make sure your Dutch oven is at least 5 1/2 quarts and can withstand an oven temp of 300 F.
Adjust oven rack to lower, but not lowest, position and preheat oven to 300°F. Place tomatoes in a large bowl. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes by squeezing them in your fingers until pieces no larger than 1/2-inch remain. Transfer 3 cups of crushed tomatoes to a sealed container and reserve in the refrigerator until later.
Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large Dutch oven until butter is melted. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes (optional) and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, carrot, onion, and basil, and stir to combine. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over high heat.
Cover Dutch oven with lid slightly ajar and transfer to oven. Cook, stirring once every 1 to 2 hours, until reduced by about half and darkened to a deep red, 5 to 6 hours (reduce oven temperature if the sauce is bubbling too rapidly or the browned bits begin to turn too dark).
Remove from oven. Using tongs, discard onion halves, carrots, and basil stems. Add reserved tomatoes from the fridge and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and stir in minced herbs along with additional olive oil as desired.
Serve immediately, or allow to cool at room temperature, transfer to airtight containers, and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Sauce can also be frozen in sealed containers for up to 6 months. To reheat, warm very gently in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water, stirring until it all melts and heats through.