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Mark's Traditional Italian Tomato Sauce


Mark Strausman, of the NYC restaurant Campagna, uses this hearty and delicious traditional Italian tomato sauce for a variety of dishes. If preparing the sauce in late summer, buy fresh plum tomatoes.

  • Yield: Makes about 9 cups

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July/August 1998


  • 4 twenty-eight-ounce cans whole Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 1 cup Chianti, or dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 8 leaves fresh basil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Puree tomatoes in a food mill, removing most of the seeds. In a medium stockpot, heat oil over medium heat, add garlic, and saute until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add red-pepper flakes. While oil is sizzling, slowly add half of the pureed tomatoes and the wine, stirring to mix. Add remaining tomatoes, reduce heat to low, and let simmer. Add oregano, and continue to simmer until slightly thickened, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The sauce may be kept in the refrigerator up to 3 or 4 days in a covered container, or in the freezer for 1 month.

Cook's Notes

Cut them into large pieces, and run them through the food mill, just as you would canned tomatoes. Slow-cooking will allow the skin to melt into the sauce.

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