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A light delicious red sauce recipe for any Sunday pasta! This sauce goes great with ragu, add your favorite ground meat for a bolognaise or veggies for a primavera! 


Units Scale
  • 415oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 16oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 cup White wine (like a chardonnay) not pictured
  • 2cups water
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 2 – Cloves fresh garlic chopped
  • 3 – TBS Italian Seasoning (dry)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (add more for a spicy) or omit for no spice
  • 3 TBS good balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBS cane sugar (not pictured)
  • 1 TBS dry oregano
  • 2 TBS fresh basil chopped
  • 2 TBS kosher salt and more for seasoning in between steps
  • 1 TBS of fresh cracked black pepper


In a large 6 qt stainless steel pot (don’t use aluminum or cast iron unless it is enamel coated) heat to med low heat. Add 2 TBS of Olive oil and add the diced red onion and season with salt and pepper. Sweat the onion while stirring occasionally for about 3-4 minutes.

Add the garlic and sauté another 2 minutes until the garlic has bloomed well (it will start to smell wonderful in your house).

Next add the Italian herbs and cook another minute

Turn up the heat to med/high and add the tomato paste and cook another minute or two.

Next deglaze the pan with the white wine and stir with a wooden spoon while scraping the bottom of the pan to get any browned bits off the bottom. Remember, this is good flavor.

Your mixture will look smooth and thick. Next add the tomatoes, water, balsamic vinegar and sugar and salt and pepper and oregano. Stir well turn the heat down to a simmer. Let simmer for a couple hours and reduce the contents of the sauce by about a 1/2 inch. This will concentrate the flavors.

If I had all day and was summertime, I would use fresh tomatoes from the garden and cook for 8 to 10 hours and omit the sugar but since tomatoes are out of season and you can only get greenhouse, I use canned.

Once reduced by a 1/2 inch using an emersion blender or hand wand mixer like Cuisinart ($29 at a Meijer) blend the mixture until mostly smooth. I like to leave small chunks of tomatoes or if I over blend, I will add a few large spoonful’s after blending.

Add the fresh chopped basil and stir in with a spoon.