Make Ahead

boss tomato sauce.

October 18, 2013
4 Ratings
  • Makes enough to coat 1.5lbs pasta.
Author Notes

This recipe is perhaps the best example of my inability to keep any night's dinner simple. I made this for the first time on an evening after a day filled with hard labor - everyone was craving comfort food. Determined to use up some leftovers from my latest trip to the farmer's market (hence the one large fresh tomato, which you can skip or sub out with some extra canned tomato - especially if you're making the dish in winter), I came up with sauce - and it was a hit. —Ashley Marie

What You'll Need
  • 1 small head garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • .5 cups onion, thinly sliced (preferably sweet, or tripolini)
  • 6 tablespoons EVOO, divided
  • 1 28 oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
  • 1 large tomato, peeled and coarsely chopped, juices reserved
  • 1.75 cups Port Wine
  • 1 dried California chili pod
  • 1 large handful fresh thyme, stems removed and discarded
  • 1 large handful fresh sage, leaves torn, stems discarded
  • .25 cups dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  1. Heat two tbsp of the EVOO in a large sauce pot for two minutes before adding your shallots and onions. Saute until fragrant, stirring constantly - do not let them color.
  2. Add the garlic, thyme, oregano and sage, stirring to combine. Let the mixture saute for approximately twenty minutes, until soft, collapsing and very fragrant.
  3. The canned and fresh tomatoes, along with one cup of the Port wine, red pepper flakes and the whole California dried chili pod can now be added. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt and let simmer gently for fifteen minutes
  4. Now add the reserved juices from the tomatoes, plus another two tablespoons of the EVOO and the rest of the Port Wine. Simmer until reduced by half - about twenty to thirty minutes.
  5. Remove, discard the chili pod. Taste for salt, add some fresh cracked black pepper.
  6. Lower heat so the mixture almost stops simmering and quickly pour in the heavy cream. Stir, noting the consistency of the sauce - it shouldn't be watery, but it won't be very thick either; a consistency somewhere in between is perfect.
  7. Taste for salt again.
  8. Add the sauce to your drained pasta of choice (I recommend penne) plus the butter and the rest of the EVOO.
  9. Serve with some grated cheese, if desired.

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