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Red-Hot Tomato Sauce

Spice up canned tomatoes with garlic, onions, and red-pepper flakes for a superb quick tomato sauce.

  • Servings: 4
Red-Hot Tomato Sauce

Photography: Dana Gallagher

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2000


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, cut into chiffonade


  1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, stirring so that it does not brown, until soft and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring another minute.

  2. Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid. Season with salt, pepper, and red-pepper flakes. Add 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until sauce has reduced and thickened and has a deep, rich tomato flavor, about 20 minutes. Stir in basil just before serving.


Reviews (3)

  • pupfoster1 31 Jan, 2014

    Great sauce that's simple as well as fresh tasting with the FRESH basil at the end!

  • VitaJo 6 Oct, 2010

    I am pretty liberal with the red pepper. =) This sauce is fantastic!

  • asweetp 27 Jul, 2009

    I love this as it is perfectly spicy, has a lot of flavor and is quick to throw together on a weeknight.

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