Basic Tomato Sauce

This quick preparation is adapted from Nancy Silverton’s, Mozza cookbook. I used as the foundation for the braising sauce for the meatballs you see here. Silverton calls it a passata di pomodoro, referring to ripe fresh tomatoes at the end of summer harvest in Italy, that are “passed” through a food mill to separate the skin and  seeds from the pulp that will used in countless recipes. Mozza’s version starts with already canned tomatoes. This is not a finished sauce, by any means, but more of a basic tomato building block , you could turn into a more complex sauce by adding garlic, onion, herbs, other aromatics, meats, etc.  In my slightly quicker version, you can bypass the food mill and use a blender to coarsely puree the already peeled canned tomatoes. In about 35 minutes from prep to finish you are left with a wonderful basic tomato sauce to launch a more complex dish.



Basic Tomato Sauce
adapted from Mozza, by Nancy Silverton


2 28-ounce cans good quality diced tomatoes and their juices
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 scant tablespoon kosher salt
1 heaping teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • Using a blender or food processor, pulse the canned tomatoes and their juices until tomatoes are coarsely pureed, about 5-7 pulses. Don’t over process. Hold aside.

  • Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering and slides easily in the pan, about 2 minutes. jAdd the tomato puree slowly as it may splatter when it hits the oil. Stir in the sugar, salt, and pepper, and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 30 minutes.

  • Use immediately or set it aside to cook to room temperature, than traser it to an airtight container and refrigerate up to several days, or freeze for up to several months.

One response to “Basic Tomato Sauce”

  1. Elizabeth & Elly says:

    These were so delicious! Two of my guests couldn’t stop eating them! Thank you.

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