Growing up in an Italian household has made it second nature for me to make a delicious, easy tomato sauce for a variety of different pastas. The secret to Italian cooking is SIMPLICITY! You can easily change an ingredient here or there to make it the perfect for many different classic Italian dishes!
2– 28-oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1– 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 large sweet onion finely diced
4 cloves of garlic pressed or finely diced
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
To make the sauce, sautÃ© the onions in the olive oil over medium heat until soft. Then add the garlic and stir frequently to avoid burning. Once the garlic is soft, pour the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste into the pot. Incorporate the spices into the sauce (see below for variations). Cook over very low heat for about 2 hours, stirring pot every 10 minutes to avoid burning it.
It is always good to add Salt and Pepper to taste to your sauce.
I almost always add oregano to my pasta sauce, especially when making meatballs or something very savory and saucy.
If you want to make a meat sauce, you can add about a LB of ground meat to this sauce. Just saute’ with the onions in the first step.
If you are making something fresher, like a vegetable pasta with fresh vegetables, or something with seafood, I usually cook the sauce for only 30 minutes or so, and add fresh basil or flat leaf/ Italian parsley towards the end of your cooking time.
To make your sauce creamy you can add a few tablespoons of plain yogurt. Trust me, it is delicious!
When making a baked pasta dish that has Ricotta cheese in it, such as lasagna, stuffed shells or even eggplant parmesan, I like to add 1 tsp of sugar to make the sauce a bit sweeter to match the sweetness of the Ricotta.
Simple and Easy Italian! Enjoy!