Quick Tomato Sauce

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Moosewood’s Tony Del Plato learned to make this tomato sauce from his mama. The speed and ease of the basic recipe, which uses canned tomatoes, reflects the simplicity and economy of much Italian home cooking. Store-bought tomato sauce may be convenient for the cook in a hurry, but it just can’t match the flavor of this Quick Tomato Sauce. Italian canned tomatoes often taste better than domestic ones, so we advise using “pomodori pelati” in juice.

Yields 6 cups

Total time: 30 minutes

Quick Tomato Sauce
Recipe type: sauce
Cuisine: Italian
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 6 cups canned tomatoes with juice, chopped (two 28-ounce cans)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Chopped whole tomatoes will produce a chunky sauce. If you prefer a smooth sauce, briefly whirl the tomatoes in a blender or food processor or use crushed tomatoes.
  2. Warm the oil in a nonreactive 2-quart saucepan.
  3. Add the onions, garlic, and salt and sauté on medium heat for about 7 minutes, until golden.
  4. Add the tomatoes, their juice, and the pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add more salt to taste.
  6. Serve immediately or chill or freeze for later use