Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Easy Tomato Sauce

Growing up, my aunt used to make us homemade tomato sauce almost every time we went to her house for dinner. I remember how the smell of the sauce, bubbling away on the stove, greeted us every time we visited her. And the taste was nothing like the jars of Prego and Ragu we consumed at home. 

The other night, I randomly found myself craving my aunt's tomato sauce. She unfortunately isn't in my life anymore to get her recipe, and I'm assuming her version took a lot longer to make, but the taste of this simplified version brought me back to her dinner table. 

Easy Tomato Sauce
Yields: 3-4 servings 
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
-1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
-1/2 teaspoon dried basil
-Pinch of crushed red pepper
-Salt and black pepper, to taste

1.) In a large saucepan over medium to low heat, heat olive oil. Add tomatoes (without puree - reserve puree for later) and break down with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes. Add tomato puree and seasonings.
2.) Reduce heat to low and semi-cover the saucepan with a lid. Allow the sauce to cook for 45 minutes to one hour, stirring occasionally. (If sauce is too chunky for your liking after cooking, puree with a hand blender).

It really doesn't get much easier than this. Just make sure you use good quality whole tomatoes (I used San Marzano - they were on sale at Shaw's, and I had read in other recipes that they're the best for homemade sauce). 

This ended up being an incredibly easy way to enjoy the taste of homemade tomato sauce, and it was nice to reminisce about all of those delicious dinners at my aunt's house. 

What do you call it: red sauce, marinara, spaghetti sauce, something else? Growing up, we always called it spaghetti sauce, but I think tomato sauce is more appropriate for this recipe.


  1. My mom always used jarred pasta sauces when I was growing up, and I just red an article today that just 1/2 cup of Prego sauce has 2 teaspoons of sugar in it, and god knows how much sodium. This looks much, much better!

    1. Oh no! You know, I used to add a bit of sugar to jarred pasta sauces to make them taste more "homemade," without ever reading the nutrition labels. Gross!

  2. this looks excellent! gotta love homemade sauce

  3. I think we always just called it sauce. Love how simple and flavorful this sounds.