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Cesare's Tomato Sauce

Chunky vegetables and plenty of fresh basil give Cesare Casella's tomato sauce its distinctively Italian taste. Use it in his Lasagna with Bean Ragu.

  • Yield: Makes about 8 cups

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, October 2010


  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped red onions
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 1/4 cups canned whole tomatoes, crushed
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place onion, celery, carrot, garlic, half of the basil, half of the parsley, and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened and begin to caramelize, about 20 minutes.

  2. Add red pepper flakes and season with salt; cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft and golden, 15 to 20 minutes more. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add 1 cup water, remaining basil and parsley. Season with salt and let simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper before using.

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