Mark Strausman's Tomato Sauce

9 cups

If you are preparing this recipe in August or September, use fresh plum tomatoes, which are at the height of their season then. 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. For canned tomatoes, Mark likes to use Italian plum tomatoes from the San Marzano Valley.


  • 4 (28-ounce) cans whole Italian plum tomatoes

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes

  • 1 cup Chianti, or dry red wine

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 8 leaves fresh basil

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Puree tomatoes in a food mill, removing most of the seeds. In a medium stockpot, heat olive 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 an airtight plastic container or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

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