Basic Tomato Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium-size onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered, or 3 large (28-ounce) cans of Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A handful of fresh herbs – preferably a mixture of basil, chervil, thyme and Italian parsley -minced
  • ½ teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes (optional)
  • Zest of 1 orange (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

      175 calories; 8 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 25 grams carbohydrates; 10 grams dietary fiber; 15 grams sugars; 4 grams protein; 528 milligrams sodium

    • Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.

About one and one-half quarts


  1. In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft but not brown. Increase heat to medium high and add remaining ingredients, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thick, 30 to 45 minutes. Check the seasoning.
  2. Pass the mixture through the fine-mesh sieve of an electric mixer (or through a food mill).
  3. The sauce will keep, refrigerated, for several days. To keep longer, freeze it or preserve in canning jars in a hot-water bath.

About 45 minutes

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