Basic Red Sauce

2 cups

Tomato paste, red onion, and fresh basil add a hint of sweetness to this quick-cooking marinara. Pile our meatballs on spaghetti and you have a familiar favorite.


  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 can (28 ounces) peeled plum tomatoes with juice, pureed

  • 12 basil leaves, torn

  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano

  • Pinch of crushed red-pepper flakes (optional)

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste.

  2. Add pureed tomatoes, basil, oregano, red-pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Season with pepper, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cook's Notes

Sauce can be frozen for up to 1 month.

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