This recipe is how the mothers in my family have for generations taught their daughters to make tomato sauce. It’s a ridiculously simple recipe and yet somehow magical in it’s ease, making any dish smothered in the sauce a million times tastier and instantly more nuanced in flavor as it’s the perfect combination of salty, sweet and sour. The sauce takes about 20 minutes to make and lasts for a week in the fridge, although in my house it typically doesn’t even last a day – we use it in everything (and on everything). Add a cup of water and a little extra seasoning and you have soup, puree with some oregano and you have pizza sauce. Add some paprika, sumac and cumin and you have the perfect base for Shakshuka or any curry. Unlike most tomato sauces, this one doesn’t simmer on the stovetop for hours on end so it’s perfect for busy, health-conscious people who don’t want to spend their moolah on expensive organic sauces. In the words of Guy Fieri, I bet it would even taste good on a flipflop.
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced very fine
1 tbsp raw sugar
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 large can tomato puree
1 tbsp dried basil (or even better, 1/4 cup fresh, packed basil leaves)
salt and pepper to taste
Good e.v.o.o or garlic oil for drizzling
- Heat a saucepan on medium-hot until oil is hot (it should be easy to move the oil around when tilting the pan)
- Add garlic and saute for a few seconds, just enough to perfume the oil and for the garlic to be golden
- Add tbsp of sugar and stir quickly, letting the garlic mixture caramelize slightly
- Drop in cherry tomatoes, squashing slightly with a spatula and stirring to combine
- Once tomatoes are sauteed (1-2 minutes), add tomato puree.
- Lower heat to medium (6 out of 10 on my stove) and let cook for 10 minutes.
- Add basil, salt and pepper and remove from heat.
- When serving, drizzle sauce with a little oil for extra flavor and a beautiful shine