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Simple Tomato Sauce


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  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes (optional)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole or diced plum tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs basil or 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper



Step 1

Step 1In a large, straight-sided skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add garlic and cook until just lightly golden. Add chile flakes if desired and cook 30 seconds.

Step 2Stir in tomatoes and juices, basil or bay leaf, and salt and pepper.

Step 3Bring sauce to a simmer and cook until sauce is thick and tomatoes have mostly fallen apart, about 30 to 40 minutes. Adjust heat as needed to keep at a steady simmer. If using whole plum tomatoes, mash them up with the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to help them break down. Remove sauce from heat and discard basil or bay leaf.

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