If you have tomato sauce, you have dinner. Simmer it and poach an egg in it. Poach fish in it. Warm meatballs in it. Pour it over just-boiled pasta. Simply sop it up with bread. Done.
It's easy to turn to jarred sauces, but it's just as easy (and arguably more satisfying) to make your own. You need little more than tomatoes (fresh or canned) and a little butter or oil. Any other additions—a halved onion, like Marcella Hazan; a freckling of capers; fat handfuls of basil; more garlic than you think is a good idea—are up to you.
Not sure where to start? Here are 15 of our most favorite tomato sauces:
If your pantry's bare (or you just need an all-purpose workhorse):