So many people have asked me for a basic pasta sauce recipe. This is my go to recipe that my mother taught me. It is quick and easy to make. Now, keep in mind this is a sauce and not Italian red gravy or "Sunday Gravy." The difference is that Sunday gravy is made with pork, beef and veal to flavor the tomatoes and is simmered for hours to get that dark red color and deep flavor. Sauce has no meat in it and is made quickly in skillet over medium heat.
This particular sauce can be used as a starter sauce for other sauces such as Puttanesca sauce, Marinara sauce and the base for a Cioppino or Italian Seafood Stew. The key elemets to all Italian sauces are freshness and simplicity.
I guarantee that this will be your go to recipe too.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 2-3 large clove garlic depending on your love of garlic, peeled and diced
2 large shallots or 1 large sweet yellow onion diced 2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes 1 bunch of fresh basil leaves pulled from stems and cut chiffonade style keeping some for garnish
1 bunch of fresh oregano pulled from stems and chopped
1/2 bunch of Italian flat leaf parsley chopped keeping some for garnish
1/2 cup of Marsala wine (optional) for a greater depth of flavor
Crushed red pepper to taste Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste 1 pound of your favorite pasta, cooked al dente Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese to taste In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the shallots and cook until just turning translucent. Add the garlic tossing to incorporate. Do not let the garlic turn brown. Add the tomatoes with their juices, whole basil and oregano leaves, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Add the optional Marsala wine stir to incorporate. Allow to cook about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring periodically with a wooden spatula, until the sauce starts to thicken. Turn off heat and let sit for a few minutes. Spoon over the pasta or add the pasta to pan and toss together. Serve topped with chopped basil and parmesan.