Tomato Sauce with Basil
I have to admit: I have an entire shelf in my pantry devoted to my favorite jarred tomato sauce. I’m usually in a hurry when I make pasta for dinner — and who has time to simmer a sauce on the stove for over an hour?! But when tomatoes are in season, and I’ve got a little extra time, I love to make tomato sauce from scratch. It’s so delicious and always makes me question how I can ever eat that run-of-the-mill jarred stuff! My recipe is based on one of the most popular Internet recipes, cookbook author Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Butter Sauce. Over the years I’ve tweaked it a bit to make it my own, adding a little olive oil, garlic, sugar and basil. The recipe calls for fresh tomatoes, which need to be peeled (no worries, I show you how below), but you can use canned if you don’t want to bother. This is such a mellow and rich sauce; it doesn’t even need Parmesan cheese.
Begin by scoring the tomatoes on one end. Don’t cut too deep — about 1/4-inch is good.
Boil the tomatoes for a few minutes.
Then plunge into cold water.
Peel the skin off the tomatoes (it should come right off), then cut them into 1/2-inch chunks.
Place the chopped tomatoes, along with all of their seeds and juices, into a large sauce pan, along with the butter, olive oil, onions, garlic, salt and sugar.
Bring to a simmer.
Cook over low heat, uncovered, for 75-90 minutes, or until the sauce is no longer watery.
Remove the onion and discard. If there are any large chunks of garlic, remove those as well (mine usually dissolve into the sauce).
Add the basil right before serving for the freshest taste.
Toss with pasta and enjoy!
Tomato Sauce with Basil
- 4 pounds plum tomatoes (or two 28-ounce can diced plum tomatoes)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut in half
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- If using fresh tomatoes: Using a sharp knife, cut an 1/4-inch deep X on one end of each tomato. Then, place scored tomatoes into a pot of boiling water and cook until you see the skin starting to wrinkle and split, 1-3 minutes, then lift the tomatoes out with the slotted spoon and plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water. Peel the skin off of the tomatoes and cut into 1/2-inch chunks. (Cut off and discard the cores at this point.)
- Place the diced tomatoes and all of their juices into a large saucepan. Add the butter, olive oil, onions, garlic, salt and sugar and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 75-90 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce is no longer watery. Remove and discard the onions and any large chunks of garlic (the garlic should have mostly dissolved into the sauce). Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add basil right before serving.
- Serving size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 256
- Fat: 21 g
- Saturated fat: 9 g
- Carbohydrates: 17 g
- Sugar: 10 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Sodium: 503 mg
- Cholesterol: 31 mg
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