This is my go-to quick sauce recipe, or, as I like to call it, “weeknight sauce.” It goes on pasta. It goes on pizza. It sometimes gets used in eggplant parm. Prep takes roughly 5 minutes. Cooking averages 15 to 20. You can adjust anything and everything to suit your taste, and it can be multiplied easily to serve a crowd. It’s got a bit of a spicy kick, but feel free to tone down the heat. If you prefer your sauce to be slightly chunkier (as I did for my pizza), don’t cook the fresh tomatoes for quite as long–only about 2 to 3 minutes–or add them in with the canned tomatoes and wine. If you plan on freezing some, leave out the fresh basil.
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (I use a mix of rosemary, oregano, parsley, and basil)
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 scant tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ to ½ cup red wine (For some inexplicable reason, I always think this tastes best with Malbec)
- Salt & ground black pepper to taste
- Fresh basil
- In a medium pot, heat your olive oil until shimmering over medium heat.
- Add in the onions and garlic and cook until just starting to soften.
- Add the tomato paste and about half of the dried spices. Stir to coat the onions and garlic and cook about 1 minute so that the tomato paste loses its raw flavor.
- Add the chopped tomatoes. Cook three to five minutes until softened and starting to disintegrate.
- Add the remaining spices, the canned tomatoes, crushed red pepper flakes, and the wine. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in some freshly torn basil.
- Serve warm.
Makes about 2 cups.