This is part of a series on ingredients to add to your homemade tomato sauce to give it a boost of flavor! For all the post in this series, click here to view them all.
There is nothing like making tomato sauce using fresh tomatoes. The flavor and the sweetness can't be matched from a can. If you are making sauce from canned tomatoes, then there is a way to up the sweetness (and the flavor) without having to add sugar. Throw in some carrots. Not only will the add sweetness to your sauce, they also give it a more rich, complex flavor. I have also found that when I have added carrots it has given the sauce and better texture and seems to help it thicken up faster.
Choosing Your Carrots
First off, I want you to promise me you will never, ever use pre cut "baby carrots" in your tomato sauce. Come on, promise me! The biggest problem with these carrots is that there is always excess moisture in the bags. This waters down the flavor and adding them to the sauce, won't give you the flavor boost you are hoping for. Now that we have gotten that out of the way, buy whole carrots. You can use bunched carrots with the tops still attached - I honestly do not buy those. The price on them is usually a lot higher and while they may be fresher, the cheaper carrots in the bags do the job good enough. Save the bunched carrots with tops for when you are going to enjoy them raw.
I Love Rainbow Carrots
I will admit I am a sucker for rainbow carrots. I love the appearance of different shades of color. The different colored carrots do have different flavors, and each color offer a different health benefit. They are becoming easier and easier to find now, especially organic ones - which I recommend now as they are cheap enough to buy. Cal-Organic has bag of rainbow carrots I have seen at Meijer and Whole Foods Market, among other retailers. Trader Joe's also sells rainbow carrots (which are probably the Cal-Organic ones in Trader Joe's pacakgaing). I have seen some places that even carry loose rainbow carrots, so you can make your own mix (I usually pick out all the ones that aren't orange!).
How to Add them to the Sauce
You can add them whole and then filter them out via a food mill or just a pair of tongs. Or you can dice them into small pieces and then will turn to mush along with the tomatoes. You add them in for the entire cooking process.