You are here

Member since December 1969

Classic, Simple, and Fresh Red Sauce

What you need: 

1 lb fresh plum or vine tomatoes
2-3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
4-5 basil leaves, torn well
1 fresh bay leaf, or 2 dried
1 tablespoon vegan brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

What you do: 

Coarsely chop tomatoes. They can be pureed in a blender or food processor for a more "saucy" texture, or thrown in the pan as is for chunky-style. Add water in very small quantities while pureeing until the desired texture is achieved.
In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil to medium heat. Add garlic and bay leaf. Saute briefly (1-2 minutes), but take care not to brown the garlic.
Add tomato sauce, basil, pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and brown sugar.
Reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for at least 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally.
This recipe can be altered with great results. My brother adds onion and roasted bell pepper. My mom uses canned tomatoes, and also uses other herbs like thyme and oregano. You can also use more or less of the ingredients listed, as suits your taste buds (of course).
Be creative, and enjoy!

Preparation Time: 
Cooking Time: 
Recipe Category: 



Yes, I realized after I posted it that I probably should have left the amount of pepper flakes up to the reader. Not everyone has my taste for fire.

And of course, when I told my grandmother I had posted this, she gave me three very sharp corrections on the recipe:

1. Red pepper flakes are to be used sparingly, just to balance the other ingredients.
2. 1-2 minutes is too long for the garlic to be in the pan alone.
3. Bay leaf should be listed as optional, as some people do not like the flavor, and they're not always around (they are now, in dried form, but I didn't say anything.)

Guess I'm still an amateur!


This sauce is awesome...especially for us chileheads!  If you have a sensitive palate I'd say start with 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes and go from there, but I added even more than the recipe called for!  I also added some fresh Italian oregano from my herb garden. 


I liked the sauce, but you might want to hold back a little with the red pepper flakes.  The sauce was making me sweat and my mouth was on fire!  Good base, though; next time I'll just adjust to my liking!  Thanks for the recipe!

Log in or register to post comments