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Recipes   /   Sugo di Pomodoro – Red Sauce

Sugo di Pomodoro – Red Sauce

Jul 12, 2007 by Gabriele Corcos


This is possibly our most used sauce in the kitchen. Not only it truly represents a staple pasta sauce throughout Italy but it also serves as a simple base for many other recipes like stews, eggplant parmesan and many more. The incredible simplicity of this sauce also allows you to tailor its taste to your liking as you can add more ingredients to it and change it in many different ways.

If you like your sauce more on the sweet side you might want to avoid garlic and pepper and maybe use a bit more onion. Vice versa, if you are like me and like a nice kick to your spaghetti sauce you can forget the onion altogether, add a few cloves of garlic and increase the amount of hot pepper.

This sauce holds in the refrigerator for about a week and in the freezer for about three months. We like always to make somewhat large batches so we can save some in our freezer for “family emergencies” or simply when we feel a bit lazy.

Yields: 2 cups (enough for 1 lb of pasta) Prep time: 5 minutesCook time: 40 minutes

  • 1 (28- ounce) can of whole peeled tomatoes (pelati)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 red onion, medium diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced into chunks
  • Pinch of hot red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons torn fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1Using an immersion blender or food processor, purée the tomatoes to a smooth creamy consistency (if you like a more country feel, you can wait and break them up in the pan later with a wooden spoon or even do it by hand).

2In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion and sauté 5 to 6 minutes, or until soft.

3Add the garlic cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until you see the color start changing. If you’d like the sauce to be spicy, add the red pepper flakes at this point.

4Add the tomatoes and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Simmer on a medium-low flame for about 30 minutes (if you chose not to purée the tomatoes earlier, use a wooden spoon to break them into pieces while they cook). Strive for a balance in the consistency of the sauce; it has to be fluid, but it should not look overly wet.

5Add the basil and remove from the heat.

6Cook a nice al dente pasta, dress with red sauce and finish with some freshly grated Parmesan, a couple of leaves of fresh basil and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


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