Basic Red Sauce

Red or White? …(sauce).

Sorry I tricked you. Don’t worry wine is also on the way with dinner!

Everyone needs a good tomato sauce in their repertoire. Something that can be altered an used for a variety of dishes. I have posted an Italian style red sauce here because I think that’s what I use most often. Below there are some suggestions on how to alter this sauce recipe with different spices or ingredients to change the style.

Category: Uncategorized
Recipe By James


Basic Red Sauce

Serves 2-4


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cans of good quality tomatoes
  • 1 lg onion, chopped (md)
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 (secret) carrot, chopped (fine)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped (md)
  • 1/2 cup drinkable red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • * 1 tsp chili flakes (I like Korean chili flakes)- optional
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tomato can of water


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot to a md heat. Add onions, salt and carrot. Patience grasshopper. You must now wait for the onions to transform. They should not sear, if they are browning on the edges turn the heat down a few notches. You want a steady md/low heat. Let them sweat out all their juices and slowly change from opaque to translucent, then from translucent to golden. This takes at least 20-30 minutes. We will add some things in step 2 just before this stage is complete.

  2. When you have almost achieved such a glorious golden result add the red pepper and the garlic for a few min, and then wait another 5/10 min for the onions to do their magic. When it’s time add tomatoes, wine, spices, and water. I add the water just because I am cooking the sauce down so long. I don’t want it to get too thick during that time. I like to use whole tomatoes because generally I think they have better flavour but use what you have. I so happened to have diced this time (a shopping accident) but it’s all good. The most important is the quality. Not all canned tomatoes are created equal. Most grocery store brands are o.k but not great. Find a good brand as the outcome of your sauce will be worlds better if the tomatoes started off as being great. San Marzano is a good go to variety of tomatoes of you aren’t sure. I also like the organic Kirkland brand whole tomatoes from Costco.

  3. On a md/low heat keep your sauce at a simmer for a few hours until it cooks down and the colour of the tomatoes has changed shades and a thicker consistency.

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