makes about 3 1/2 cups, enough to sauce 6 servings of pasta
This is one of those sauces that you must try. Once you do, I assure you that you will make it one of your family’s standard recipes. It is quick, simple, and nutritionally sound, and this sauce is at the base of many other recipes. You can double or triple this recipe for big dinners, or you can freeze it and use it in future meals. It keeps in the freezer for a month or two. Make this sauce with fresh tomatoes only when the juiciest, most flavorful ripe tomatoes are available. (Increase the amount of olive oil a little if you make the sauce with fresh tomatoes.) Otherwise, canned plum tomatoes make a delicious marinara sauce.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 3 pounds ripe fresh plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded or one 35 ounce can of peeled Italian tomatoes, seeded and lightly crushed, with their liquid
- Peperoncino (crushed red pepper) to taste
- 10 fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
In a medium-size, non-reactive saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Carefully add the tomatoes and their liquid. Bring to a boil and season lightly with salt and crushed red pepper. Reduce the heat to simmering and simmer, breaking up the tomatoes with a whisk as they cook, until the sauce is chunky and thick, about 20 minutes. Stir in the basil about 5 minutes before the sauce is finished. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper if necessary.
NOTE: When using fresh plum tomatoes, the extra virgin olive oil can be increased to 1/2 cup for optimal results.