Basic Sauce

Basic Sauce

Basic Sauce is a base tomato sauce that can be used for anything from just the way it is, to creating other great sauces like vodka sauce. It is a “building block” which can also be served just as it is.  Any given week I make a pot of this because I know I am going to use it for the next two weeks in various dishes from Shrimp fra Diavola to Penne A La Vodka, and I might even use the left overs to simmer meatballs.  It automatically saves me nearly an hour between prep and cooking time.  Its super easy and once you’ve made this you will never pay $5+ for sauce from a jar again.  The best part is you control what goes in it, from the amount of salt, to leaving out the artificial flavors and ingredients like preservatives and things like xanthan gum, which has been linked to respiratory problems. Why is it used? To thicken the sauce.  So why not just cook your own at home a little longer till it thickens or use less water? Its a no brainer. So here you go…


  • 1 28 ounce Can (approximately 800 grams) Crushed Tomatos
  • 1/2 Cup spring water
  • 1 small onion
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1.5 ounces Olive Oil

In a pot over medium heat, add some olive oil in a pot. Add in you onion until you can smell it and/or it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Now, you can add a dash (one ounce) of red or white wine to deglaze the pot a little, but its not necessary. What the wine will do is add a touch of acidity and a bit of sugar (and of course taste).  Once it burns off in about 5 minutes, add in your tomatoes, water, bring up the heat until it bubbles gently, then reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes.  It is that simple.

What next?  Boil your pasta, and serve it with this sauce.  Or, use it to build the following other sauce recipes:

  • Vodka Sauce
  • Fra Diavola Sauce
  • Marinara Sauce
  • Tomato Broth for Seafood dishes



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