Mom's Tomato Sauce

A few years ago, I posted this to Insignifica, noting that I wanted to put it somewhere I wouldn't lose it. I figure my new food blog is as good as any other place.

This is my adaptation of my mom's tomato sauce. This sauce really is all about the tomatoes, so buy the best. You should use canned instead of fresh here, but go for something high quality - I prefer plum tomatoes for texture, body, and flavor. If your tomatoes aren't salted in the can, you're gonna want to increase the amount you add to the sauce. Total cooking time is at least an hour, but I often let it go all afternoon (3-6 hours) to let all the flavors meld.

I usually serve it over thin spaghetti, with a high sauce-to-pasta ratio (tradition be damned - I'm an American, and I like sauce). As listed, it's almost vegan - just cook your mushrooms in oil instead of butter, and you're set. Top with your favorite cheese (I've been using mizithra, grated over the top - I still haven't found a good Parmesan Reggiano that doesn't use animal rennet), and enjoy.

Mom's tomato sauce


2 28oz cans whole or crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 tablespoons Italian seasonings (premixed Italian seasoning, or a combination of basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme or rosemary, to taste).
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1/2 small white onion, diced
8-12oz white mushrooms, sliced or chunked
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste


In a large pot, simmer tomatoes on medium heat. If whole, crush first with a potato masher or with your hands, making sure to remove all skins. Add olive oil, then Italian spices. Allow sauce to simmer for 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a medium saucepan, heat butter or oil on medium heat. Add onions, and cook for 4-5 minutes before adding mushrooms. Once this mixture is mostly cooked (onions should be clear, and mushrooms should have given off a fair amount of moisture) reduce heat to low and add garlic. Cook for another 3-5 minutes then stir into sauce.

Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. After cooking for an hour total, the sauce is ready to be served over your favorite pasta. Sauce can also be prepared ahead of time and reheated.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Doss published on March 12, 2009 5:45 PM.

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