I’m very particular about the tomatoes I use in this sauce. Look for canned crushed tomatoes, some cans you will come across will say “with added puree” – this is also fine. I
avoid diced tomatoes, pass on pureed, and skip whole tomatoes as well. Avoid the crushed tomatoes with added herbs, seasonings, etc. You want pure crushed tomatoes if possible. I also look for organic crushed tomatoes which can be tricky; I often come across the Muir Glen brand, it has added basil in it, but that one is actually fine. The San Marzano crushed tomatoes are great as well. Any leftover sauce keeps well in the refrigerator for three or four days.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 3 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 28-ounce can crushed red tomatoes
- zest of one lemon
- Combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and garlic in a cold saucepan. Stir while you heat the saucepan over medium-high heat, saute just 45 seconds or so until everything is fragrant – you don’t want the garlic to brown. Stir in the tomatoes and heat to a gentle simmer, this takes just a couple minutes.
- Remove from heat and carefully take a taste (you don’t want to burn your tongue). If the sauce needs more salt add it now. Stir in the lemon zest reserving a bit to sprinkle on top of your pasta.
Makes about a quart of tomato sauce.