in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Red Pasta Sauce

Fillipo Magistro was my Italian teacher my last semester of college. Each class would end with a recipe. This red sauce was the one his mother would make in Barr, Italy in the 1950's. So fabulous! I have modified it a bit--I don't think he would mind.

Red Sauce
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 large onion, roughly chopped
5 cans (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons raw sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Heat a deep skillet over medium high heat. Pour in oil. Add garlic and onions. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes or until onions are beginning to brown slightly. Add tomatoes, sugar, salt, basil and red pepper. Using an immersion blender, puree sauce until smooth. Simmer over low heat for an hour or longer. Taste and then adjust sugar and salt if needed. Use as pasta sauce or pizza sauce.

Hints: I use sweet onions (walla walla or vadalia). I also use different types of basil--this time I used half purple and half regular. I like lemon, cinnamon or Thai basil as well. Dried basil will work in a pinch. Use about 3 tablespoons of dried basil for this recipe. Use the best olive oil you can afford. Fillipo's mom added regular granulated sugar but I prefer the raw flavor. I added the red pepper flakes cause I like a tiny bit of a kick.

Fillipo didn't ever give us exact measurements. He cooked by instinct, just like his mother did I am sure. The truth is I don't normally measure things as I am cooking either. But for this blog, I am taking the time to measure what I throw in dishes. So the measurements are accurate but don't let that get in your way of having fun. 


  1. My absolute favorite sauce, not only great on noodles, but for dipping as well! Thanks Mom. You never did give me the recipe! Every time Mom comes to visit, she has to make us this sauce!

  2. Hi Megan,

    I liked perusing your blog and especially enjoy reading anything to do with Italy and food (non sai cuanto ci manca le bell'Italia!). BTW, copy-righted is not a hyphenated word.

    - Robert

    P.S. The colors you chose for my office remodel turned out great... you are sooooo talented.