Tomatoes are one of the most useful and versatile ingredients you can have in the pantry. Once I run out of my own stash of home-canned tomatoes (usually around this time of year), I buy entire flats of canned whole tomatoes to keep on hand. That way, I know I can always get supper on the table, even if other ingredients are running low. Here are some of my favorite ways to transform a regular 26-ounce can of tomatoes into a delicious meal.
Note: Canned tomatoes are susceptible to contamination by bisphenol A, which is often used in the can liners. It’s better to purchase tomatoes in glass containers or BPA-free cans, although that can be expensive. See this post for most information.
Tomato sauce is very easy to make, and by starting with the whole ingredients, you’ll end up with a sauce much more delicious than anything premade.
Sauté a chopped onion with some minced garlic in olive oil. Add a can of tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes until tomatoes have started to break down and thicken. Remove from heat and puree briefly with an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper.
Or try making Marcella Hazan's famous 4-ingredient tomato sauce, made richer by the addition of butter. You can find it here.
You can use this sauce for anything, such as topping pasta, pizza dough, or polenta, or layer with roasted eggplant slices and grated Parmesan and mozzarella to make Eggplant Parmesan.