Maria Rodale’s Basic Pasta Sauce

This pasta sauce recipe is the perfect base for any great tomato-based pasta dish.

Basic Pasta Sauce
Using the whole tomato, but squeezing out some of the juice, makes it just right.

2–2.5kg tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tsp. salt
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh basil
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Cut out any brown spots from the tomatoes, core, halve through the equator and gently squeeze the juice from the tomatoes. (Don’t squeeze too hard; you still want a bit of juice in there.) Working in batches, place the tomatoes in a food processor or blender with the garlic, salt, and basil and process to combine. If you prefer a chunky tomato sauce, simply cut the tomatoes into quarters and roughly mash with a potato masher. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the tomato pulp, stir and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours, until the sauce has reached your desired consistency. Pour the hot sauce into wide-mouthed glass jars, leaving 3cm of space at the top for the sauce to expand. Let the jars cool before you put them in the freezer to freeze for up to 10 months (be sure to label and date them!). Makes 950ml.




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