Saturday, June 11, 2011

Elegant Tomato Spaghetti Sauce (with "secret ingredient")

This is an extremely simple every day sort of tomato based spaghetti sauce. In violation of the true Italian Chef's claim that the best sauces must be simmered for hours, we can cook this one in about 15 minutes and love it. Authentic Italian? Probably not. Delicious? Definitely!

Ingredients: (to serve 4)

2 Finely minced cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon (or more) dried basil
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup olive oil
1 14-15 ounce can of tomato sauce
1 14-15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
Ordinary sugar to taste (the "secret ingredient")
1 Pound spaghetti cooked al dente


In a medium sized sauce pan, add the oil and heat. Add the garlic, basil, onions and red pepper flakes and saute for about 3 mins. Add the canned tomatoes and tomato sauce and bring to simmering and cook for 10 mins. Now, it is time to taste and add sugar to taste (you have added enough sugar when the bitter or acid taste of tomato has mellowed).

Serve over cooked spaghetti and with a salad and a crusty baguette.


  1. I can offer a "gardener's" spaghetti sauce - no sugar:

    chop and saute till nearly tender -
    any vegetable you have on hand esp. carrots, zucchini, onions, garlic, celery

    Add lots of diced tomatoes

    When everything is tender, run it through the blender or food processor in batches and return to pot. Simmer with a tablespoon or two of tomato paste till the paste is fully incorporated and add basil to taste.

    Superb for making ahead and freezing.

  2. Thanks, Sarah, that sounds yummy. I suspect that some of those sweeter veggies - like the carrots - may add enough sweetness to counteract the tart acidity of the tomatoes.

  3. Thanks to a couple of wide-awake visitors who noticed an error in the above recipe. We've corrected it now to say "2 cloves of garlic," the "2 cups" we originally wrote would be a bit excessive even for the greatest lovers of garlic.

    Thanks, Marna & Carol P