Easy Basic Tomato Sauce


This recipe for tomato sauce is quick and easy, all you need is canned tomatoes, onions, olive oil, and basil.  Success in making a really good tomato sauce depends a good deal on the variety of canned tomatoes that you buy.  Some tomatoes are canned with way too much citric acid used as a preservative, which imparts a tart acidic taste.  Use a good quality brand – there are a few out there that are inexpensive as well.  Regardless, I find that a small amount of sugar is necessary to balance out the acidity.

Everyone has their own version for making a simple tomato sauce.  Our family makes this sauce without garlic, but you can add garlic if you like.  I also swirl butter in at the end to give the sauce added richness.

(Sarsa di Pumadoru – Salsa di Pomodoro)

Difficulty Rating: Easy
Makes 4 servings.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1 (28 ounce) can strained tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, or tomato puree
6-7 fresh basil leaves
1/4–1/2 cup water
1-2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in 2 pieces (optional)

Heat oil in a deep skillet or saucepan, over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook until soft and translucent but not browned, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic if using and saute for 1 minute longer.  Stir in tomatoes, basil, and 1/4 cup of water.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover with lid and simmer for 15 minutes, add additional water to thin out as necessary.  Taste sauce and add sugar and additional salt if necessary.  Cook 10 minutes longer.  Remove from heat and stir in butter.  Discard basil leaves. Pour sauce over your favorite pasta.

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