Annabelle Breakey
Total Time
45 Mins
Makes sauce for 1/2 lb. spaghetti

If you prefer a smooth texture for your sauce, either peel the tomatoes before chopping them or run the sauce through a food mill before stirring in the basil. You can easily double (or triple) this sauce. It freezes beautifully for up to 6 months.

How to Make It

Step 1

Core and halve tomatoes. Remove seeds (either scoop them out with a spoon or hold a half in your hand and squeeze out the seeds) and cut tomatoes into 1/2-in. dice. Set aside.

Step 2

Thinly slice garlic. In a 10- to 12-in. frying pan over low heat, cook garlic in olive oil until it is soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Step 3

Add tomatoes and 1 tsp. salt and increase heat to medium-high. Cook until tomatoes give off their liquid and start to bubble. Reduce heat to medium-low or low, so the sauce gently simmers. Cook, uncovered and undisturbed, until oil separates from the sauce and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, chop basil. When sauce is done, stir in basil and add salt to taste.

Step 5


Step 6

Butter it up: Use unsalted butter in place of the olive oil and a chopped medium onion in place of the garlic.

Step 7

Explore the herb patch: Try 1/2 to 1 tsp. minced fresh oregano, marjoram, rosemary, or thyme instead of the basil.

Step 8

Add some heat: Toss in 2 or 3 dried whole arbol chiles with the garlic for a slightly spicy version. Remove chiles before serving.

Step 9

Pick more produce: At the beginning of step 3, add one skinned and chopped medium eggplant and cook until soft, about 10 minutes, before adding the tomatoes.

Step 10

Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1/2 cup.

Ratings & Reviews

Cansas's Review

September 05, 2010
This sauce is excellent and so easy to make. A food mill gives the sauce a nice consistency. I added a tsp. of fresh oregano with the basil. Great use of summer tomatoes!