Friday, May 17, 2013

Simple Tomato Sauce

Is it tomato season yet? When plum tomatoes are not yet available or gone for the season at the farmers' market, this easy, delicious basic sauce (sugo di pomodoro semplice) fills the bill. Use superior-quality canned tomatoes and good olive oil for best results.


2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
Two 28-oounce cans diced tomatoes with juice
Kosher or fine sea salt
5 large fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn


1. Warm the garlic in the olive oil in a large saucepan placed over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to press down on the garlic to release its flavor and then swirl the pan to infuse the oil.

2. When the garlic gets fragrant and begins to "speak," i.e., sizzle, but before it starts to brown, carefully pour in the tomatoes to avoid oil spatter and stir to coat with the oil.

3. Season with 1 teaspoon salt, raise the heat to medium-high and bring the tomatoes to a simmer. When the juices start bubbling, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the tomatoes simmer uncovered, stirring from time to time, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the oil has separated from the tomatoes.

4. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Taste and adjust the seasoning to taste.

This chunky tomato sauce may be stored in a tightly lidded container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Excerpted from The Glorious Pasta of Italy by Domenica Marchetti

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