Basic Quick Tomato Sauce
This is the sauce base I use for nearly all the tomato pasta dishes we eat at home. It's also good on our Chicken Meatloaf. It is the easiest thing you could ever make, and it's quick. You can start the sauce at the same time you boil water for pasta and be finished before the pasta has even finished cooking. In the summer when local tomatoes are cheap and good, this is a great basic sauce to make for the freezer -- just omit the hot pepper and cheese. In the wintertime, you can use canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh. When you use canned, halfway through the cooking add about ¼ to ½ a teaspoon of brown sugar.
Meal: Basics, Sauces & Dressings
Serves: Makes about 2 cups
Prep: 20 - 30 min
Main Ingredient: Tomatoes (Canned)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 to 8 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1½ pounds), coarsely chopped or 1 can (28-onces) chopped tomatoes
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, smashed and sliced thin lengthwise
- 1 small dried red pepper, seeds removed (optional)
- Salt or ½ stock cube, to taste
- 1 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
For more recipes with canned tomatoes, check out our slideshow.
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1. Heat the oil in a wok or heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmeradd the garlic and stir-fry until golden. Do not let it burn or it will become bitter. If you like a spicy sauce, add the pepper.
2. Add the tomatoes and stir-fry. There will be a lot of spitting and hissing as the wet tomatoes hit the hot oil. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook the tomatoes down until they are reduced by about half and have taken on a more orangey hue. Adjust the seasoning by adding salt or half a stock cube. If the sauce looks like it's drying out too much, add a little water. Freeze if not using immediately.
4. Add the Parmesan, taste for seasonin then serve.
Do not substitute dried herbs for fresh. It won't taste the same. Use frozen herbs or pesto, or experiment with whatever is available fresh. You can buy plugs of frozen basil and cilantro at Trader Joe's.