Classic Red Sauce

This recipe is from Debi Mazar and her husband, Gabriele Corcos. I think the pasta I used (bucatini), was a little too fat for the sauce, and we ended up with a little too much pasta, not enough sauce. The sauce itself was okay. It was very fresh-tasting, but I feel like mine needed something. I expected to be wowed, and I was not.

rating: 7

Classic Red Sauce
(Food Network Magazine, May 2014)

serves 4-6
prep time: 15 min.
cooking time: 40 min.


1 28 -ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 red onion, medium-diced
3 cloves garlic, cut into chunks
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons torn fresh basil
1 pound penne or spaghetti, cooked until al dente



Puree the tomatoes to a smooth, creamy consistency in a food processor or with an immersion blender. (If you like a more country feel, you can wait and break them up in the pan later with a wooden spoon.)

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. When hot, add the onion and saute 5 to 6 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until you see the color start changing. If you’d like to make the sauce spicy, add the red pepper flakes.

Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer about 30 minutes. (If you did not puree the tomatoes, use a wooden spoon to break them into pieces while they cook.) Strive for balance in the consistency of the sauce: It has to be fluid, but it should not look overly wet. Add the basil and remove from the heat. Toss with just-cooked pasta.


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