Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste, Start with 1/4 tsp and work your way up as needed. This is a personal preference, so season to taste.
1/4cupchopped fresh parsley
8ozmushrooms, sliced or diced, I like to use Baby Bella when I can find them, but any mushrooms will do.
28ozcan of whole peeled tomatoes; don't drain
28ozcan of puréed tomatoes
Heat 1 TBSP of olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and onions. Cook them, stirring every now and then to prevent the garlic from burning, for about 3-5 minutes, or until the onions are tender. Increase the heat to medium heat. Add a bit of salt and cracked black pepper.
Add the fresh parsley and the tomato paste to the onions, and stir until the onions are pretty much coated with the paste.
Add the mushrooms to the onions and, if needed, add the other TBSP of olive oil. Stir to coat and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender.
Once the mushrooms are tender, add the tomatoes (don't drain them; include the juice), the tomato purée, and the sugar. Stir the contents of the pot, and partially cover the saucepan or Dutch oven with a lid. Decrease the heat to medium-low and let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.
After you've let the sauce simmer for a while, come back, and give it a taste. This is where you're going to have to make your own decisions based on your own personal preference. If you find the sauce to be acidic (which I always do at this point), add the baking soda. The sauce will foam and fizz. Give it a good stir and let it simmer for about 15 minutes before tasting it again. Once some time has passed, taste it and adjust your seasoning (salt + sugar). Your sauce should be much less acidic, but if this definitely depends on the tomatoes you're using. If it's still too acidic, add more baking soda in 1/8 tsp increments until it's just right, but it shouldn't take more than one more pinch of the stuff.
Let the sauce simmer for 3-4 hours, partially covered with a lid. Come back to stir it occasionally and, of course, give it a taste. The longer your let your sauce simmer, the more flavorful it will get.
When it's time to remove the sauce from the heat, add a knob of butter (about a TBSP) to the sauce and stir. This will leave you with a super creamy and super smooth finish.
Toss this sauce with your favorite pasta, layer it in with your lasagna, or slather it over a pizza shell!
Tip: If you keep Parmesan or Romano rinds in your freezer like I do, throw one of them into this sauce before you let it simmer for hours. It gives off a wonderful flavor and nice, smooth texture.