3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes

1 large sprig basil

2 sprigs oregano, optional

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Heat a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onion and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes (along with their liquid), basil, and oregano, if desired, and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon, for about 2 hours, or until thickened and saucy. Let cool slightly and puree in a food mill using a fine disc. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Makes about 1 ¼ quarts. An all-purpose red sauce, fantastic with pasta or anything else that requires marinara. To perk up the long-cooked flavors of this sauce, you can stir in a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a grated clove of raw garlic right before serving. Keeps for several days tightly sealed in the refrigerator.