Day 3 – Tomato Sauce (because we are having leftovers)

Tomato Sauce – Red Sauce – Spaghetti Sauce

Can’t help it but I have a refrigerator full of food that needs to be eaten, a son and daughter who each have evening activities…. so despite the fact that it is only day three, we need to have leftovers not something great to blog about.

One of the decisions I made when I was thinking about this is that I was going to blog what I do, not do so I could blog.  In other words, I want this to be “real life.”

So today I thought I would blog about tomato sauce…

Tomato sauce or red sauce is an amazing thing.  It is so simple, just a few possible ingredients, yet different sauces taste VERY different.  It always amazes me how a basic cheese pizza – three basic ingredients (crust, sauce, cheese)  can taste so very different depending on the pizza joint.  In fact, pizza is like snowflakes – no two pizza joint pizzas taste the same. Of course this isn’t true for chains because they work so hard to make sure everything tastes the same everywhere. But real pizza shops which serve real pizza (sorry chains) vary gratefully from shop to shop.

Tomato Sauce is similar it is tomatoes and spices yet I have had very good red sauce and some awful red sauce.  From talking to Italians, cooking with them whenever possible, the best sauce is the simplest sauce.

It seems to me like finding the right blend of spices for your palette is one key, the other is letting your sauce simmer for a few hours so the flavors marry.

Here is my general recipe.  What is your recipe? I have heard of people using things like white sugar, brown sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, etc. Do you put anything in your sauce that is out of the ordinary.

My sauce recipe:

a couple of small glugs olive oil – enough to gently saute some diced onion (small handful) and minced garlic (a couple of cloves).  I keep the heat very low for this part.  Saute for 5-10 minutes or so.

two 28 oz can of tomato sauce, puree, chunky – based on the dish and my mood.

stir well to incorporate the oil into the sauce.

Then I add spices:

  • a small handful of dried, fresh basil (I dry the fresh basil from the farmers market and/or my garden by hanging it upsidedown from a hook above a bright window)
  • a few pinches of each garlic powder and white onion powder
  • a small pinch of oregano (I love oregano but Lisa hates it.  I find it a “sweet spice” she finds it very bitter)
  • a small pinch or two of your best sea salt
  • a very small amount of fresh pepper

Let this simmer for two or three hours for a great sauce!

Please leave your sauce recipe in the comment section, I’d love to try it!!

Cook On!




  1. Larissa Demirs says:

    Hi Chad, my basic recipe is pretty much the same, except I LOVE oregano and I add more onion. If I have fresh red peppers, I chop one (or a couple) of those too.

    Good luck with your blog!!!

  2. My sauce is similar, but I also add paste, fennel seed, parsley, and a spot of sugar. And it must simmer for a minimum of 4 hours. . .5-6 is best for deep rich tomatoey flavor.

    Looking forward to more cookin’!

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