Recipe by sjf17x
This is your basic Italian/American red sauce. Nothing fancy, but perfect every time. This is the sauce to use for all of your dishes - Pasta, Baked Ziti, Parmigiana, ect. It is not acceptable for pizza sauce, as Pizza sauce in Italy is rarely cooked prior to being put on the pizza. This can be the base for a great ragu or traditional Italian/American meat sauce. The sugar is left up to one's personal taste. Some Italians use sugar (don't argue, I have witnessed it first hand). It all depends on the tomatoes... taste them and you be the judge. And you want to finely mince your onion and garlic so they melt into the sauce.
- 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (28 ounce) can plum tomatoes, packed in puree with no salt added
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, no salt
- 1⁄4 cup red onion, finely minced
- 3 -4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 -2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1⁄2-1 cup red wine, good quality (please no cooking wine)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt (or 3 large pinches)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄4 cup basil, torn by hand
- pasta cooking water (as needed)
Directions See How It's Made
- Start off by mincing the onions. They must be as small as possible. Set aside in a bowl.
- Mince the garlic, then form a garlic paste.
- **Note** To form a garlic paste, mince garlic, add some sea or kosher salt and olive oil, and use the back end of a chef's knife to work the garlic into a paste.
- For the whole tomatoes, remove each tomato by hand and place into a food processor. Leave puree in the can. Pulse the tomatoes until crushed, leaving some texture. Strain through a fine mesh sieve - you'll remove about 1 cup of water. Discard the water and add crushed tomatoes back to puree in the can. Set aside.
- In a sauce pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook onions and garlic for about 3-5 minutes, or until garlic begins to smell like it's roasted. It should just start to be taking on color. This step is very important and one where you have to go by the smell rather than the color of the garlic. Once you begin to smell that roasted garlic smell, the onion/garlic is ready. Stir constantly.
- Add tomato paste and stir, cooking the paste for 1 minute.
- Add wine and stir. The wine should instantly thicken, due to the tomato paste. Cook for 2-3 minutes. It is not necessary to reduce.
- Reduce heat to medium/low.
- Add red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir and cook briefly for 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes you pureed and the crushed tomatoes. Stir, cover pot and allow to cook for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Sauce can be cooked longer, but I prefer a more vibrant tomato taste. The longer you cook it, the more rich the tomato flavor will become. This is totally personal preference. After 20 minutes, my pasta water is boiling away and I start cooking the pasta.
- When your pasta is finished cooking, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. I always add at least 1/4 cup of the pasta water to the sauce. It helps the sauce stick to the pasta.
- Tips on pasta - never, never, never, never add oil to the water and never rinse your cooked pasta. The pasta can be drained and added directly to the sauce, or add your drained pasta to a bowl and toss with 1 cup of your tomato sauce.
- Add basil to sauce right before serving, as basil looses it's flavor immediately from the heat. Also do a final seasoning adjustment, if necessary right before serving. I like to add a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil and an extra pinch of red pepper flakes.
- I cannot stress enough the steps are important, and this generally takes me 15 minutes max to put together -- but all ingredients are personal choice. Add more or less of whatever you like.