This basic marinara — calling for only five ingredients — is proof of how little is needed to deliver satisfying flavor. Some cooks sweeten their sauce to balance the tomatoes’ acidity, but I don’t find this hack necessary. Raw tomatoes may start out a little bitter, but that acerbity disappears all on its own if the sauce is left to simmer long enough. Bonus: This recipe doubles as a pizza sauce with the addition of a little dried oregano! — H. Weal
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic (about 6 medium cloves)
4 cups crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 sprigs basil (about 12 large leaves)
medium (2-quart) pot with lid
measuring cups and spoons
1. Combine oil and garlic in pot over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic until golden – about 1 minute.
2. Add tomatoes and salt, then stir until well-combined. Lower heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer 45 minutes.
3. Rinse basil thoroughly and then chop.
4. Stir chopped basil into sauce. Cover and simmer 5 minutes, or until sauce has mellowed to your liking.
NOTES & TIPS
• No fresh garlic on hand? Use 2 teaspoons garlic powder.
• No fresh basil on hand? Use 2 teaspoons dried basil.
• This recipe is a great way to use up leftover or mealy tomatoes. Just chop ‘em up and throw ‘em in!
• If the sauce reduces too quickly (begins sticking to the pot), reduce heat to low for the remainder of the simmering time.
• BONUS RECIPE: Pizza Sauce: Add 2 teaspoons dried oregano during Step 3.
1 quart (eight 1/2 cup servings)