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If using fresh tomatoes, to peel them, bring water to boil
in a large pot. Meanwhile, use a paring knife to core the very
tops of the tomatoes. Now make an "X" at the bottom
of the fruit, just enough to break the skin. Have a sanitized
sink or very large bowl full of ice water ready. Drop tomatoes
in boiling water for no more than 1 minute. Immediately remove
to ice water for at least a minute. Use the "X" at
the bottom of the tomatoes to help peel the skin off and discard.
Halve tomatoes and scoop out the seeds. Crush tomatoes with
your hands into a bowl, retaining as much of the natural juices
as possible. Set aside. If using canned whole tomatoes, gently
crush tomatoes into a bowl, reserving canned juice.
Heat oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add roughly
chopped garlic and sauté until just starting to brown on the
edges but DO NOT LET BURN, about 2 minutes. It's not too common
to sauté garlic for this amount of time, but it is crucial to
the overall flavor of the sauce.
Add crushed tomatoes, of either kind, to the heated garlic
oil and stir well. If using fresh tomatoes, add all the juices;
if using canned tomatoes, add most of the juice. When tomatoes
come up to heat, stir in sea salt to taste and the crushed red
peppers. Lower heat to allow a good simmer, but not a boil.
Cook until it just starts to thicken and change to a darker
color, at least 45 minutes. Stir in red wine. Continue cooking
until thickness desired, usually 10-15 minutes longer. Five
minutes before cooking is done, add fresh basil and stir. Adjust
seasonings and use as you wish.
*Chiffonade is the French term for thinly sliced items. The
easiest way to chiffonade basil is to stack leaves on top of
each other. Then roll long ways, like a cigar, and cut thin
slices across the roll.