new and improved “red sauce”

here’s the new red sauce we’ve been using a bunch over the fall and winter so far. The key is good canned tomatoes. The ones I’ve bought from Costco were OK, but the color wasn’t so great. I bought a case of San Marzano’s from Amazon and they were great until the price went up to make them prohibitively expensive.

1 small onion diced
1 whole head of garlic cloves
1 big pinch of dried thyme

Sautee this stuff in a pan, and add in 2 cans of uncooked best quality whole tomatoes.
Blend on low to preserve the color of the tomatoes.
Salt to taste, add in a small handful of finely chopped fresh flat parsley.

Key points
1. It’s not necessary to stew the tomatoes for a long time. If they’re good, they’ll taste great just like that. This is maybe more of a pizza sauce recipe, but we’ve really enjoyed it.
2. Keep the blender on low, cut your veg small so you don’t have to fire it up to high.
3. Don’t brown the onion/garlic, and damn sure don’t burn it. If anything, add a little water to the pan to steam and soften rather than fry.
4. I can almost guarantee you that you can make this sauce in the same time or less than it takes to go to the grocery store and buy something that doesn’t taste this good.


Not sure who put that picture in, it wasn’t me. The can pictured was a well-known trick of marketing. Those tomatoes are San Marzano BRAND from California. These are not necessarily San Marzano tomatoes, and they’re not Italian, to be sure.

MAB: Guilty!  I was dressing it up with an image, and neglected to look closely at the image.  I did get it from Amazon tho.


3 thoughts on “new and improved “red sauce”

  1. I’m partial to this kind of red sauce too. We typically use Centos toms and i put in fresh oregano and a pinch of sugar into mine. I also use an immersion blender straight in the pot since my upright blender is crappy.

  2. Try this one –
    Melt 1/2 to 3/4 stick of butter over med-low heat. Cut an onion in half and saute cut side down until it starts to brown a bit. Add your canned tomatoes and liquid – (agree with MAB, the Cento brand is not bad and reasonably priced). Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, crushing the tomatoes periodically with ye old wooden spoon. Remove onion. Puree or not. Salt to taste. Add fresh herbs to the finished dish if you’d like.

  3. one of the points though is using raw tomatoes out of the can. it gives a fresher tasting sauce, so you’re more dependent on the quality. just like with pizza sauce.

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