This tomato sauce is an essential component to my arsenal of quick and simple, delicious meals. A batch is made in my kitchen nearly every week because it takes less than 5 minutes of prep work and it’s the glue to dozens of my favorite meals that can be made in minutes. You know I love me a meal in minutes.
The recipe is a twist on Marcella Hazan’s infamous Tomato Sauce that I’ve been making for years. Her sauce has 4 ingredients – tomatoes, butter, onion and salt. That’s it. Glorious, right? I use grass fed butter and cut the amount in half, and then I add garlic and basil. It’s so so simple, yet so so versatile.
If you’re thinking butter in the tomato sauce is weird and excessive, you’re wrong. So wrong. Why would one not put butter in tomato sauce? Butter makes everything better. Duh. It gives the sauce a smooth, rich flavor that cuts the acid of the tomatoes so well. Sugar will also cut the acid and balance the sauce, but wouldn’t you rather use buttah? I thought so. Grass fed butter is a healthy fat, and we know healthy fats support metabolism and feeds our cells, while sugar most certainly does not. Speaking of sugar, let’s talk about store bought marinara or spaghetti sauce. Have one in your pantry? Go pick it up and check out the sugar content. Even the purest pasta sauces will have some sugar, as there are natural sugars in tomatoes, but most have sugar added during processing. A 1/2 of typical bottled spaghetti sauce has around 12 g of sugar. Yikes! A 1/2 of this Simple Tomato Basil Sauce will taste 1000xs better and ring in around 5 g of sugar. One of my favorite ways to use this sauce is to make Eggs in Purgatory, a recipe I make at least once a week for breakfast or for dinner at the end of the week when I have “no food in the house!!” Feel free to call this recipe “Eggs in Tomato Sauce” as that is exactly what it is and the real name is weird and somewhat creepy. This sauce is mostly made of up of carbs and healthy fats, so it’s really easy to get a balanced meal using it. Here are some of my favorite ways to eat it –
with pasta and meatballs
over zoodles and ground turkey
with pan-fried tofu [and a side of veggies!]
as a pizza sauce
over chicken with parmesan and more basil
in a potato boat with ground sausage and mozzarella
served over polenta with shredded chicken or Italian sausage
You can totally change this up and make it your own, depending on your menu that week:
Add a few glugs of organic half and half to make a cream sauce.
Make enchilada sauce in a pinch: leave out the basil and add 10 oz tomato paste, 1/4 c chili powder, 1 tsp dried oregano and cumin.
Add a few shakes of red pepper flakes for some heat.
Pour in 1/2 c red or white wine at the beginning of cooking for a new depth of flavor.
Simple Tomato Basil Sauce
Author: Megan Kober, RDN, LD
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Serves: makes 4 cups
Super simple, versatile tomato sauce recipe that you’ll find yourself making every week.
2 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
4 Tbsp grass fed butter
2 onions, peeled and halved
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 Tbsp salt
12 basil leaves, torn
Combine tomatoes, butter, onions, garlic [give this a good smash with the back of your knife!], and salt in a large, heavy bottom saucepan.
Bring to a boil, then simmer on very low heat for 1 hour. Stir occasionally and crush tomatoes up with the back of a spoon as it cooks.
Remove onion. Remove garlic, if desired.
Stir in basil.
Check for seasonings – you may need to add more salt, based on your preferences.
This recipe may easily be cut in half!
Eggs in Purgatory
Author: Megan Kober, RDN, LD
Prep time: 2 mins
Cook time: 2 mins
Total time: 4 mins
A pretty fancy little whole foods breakfast in under 5 minutes. The best part? It can be made a head of time, put into tupperware and taken to work. It won’t be as pretty, but it’ll taste just as good!
3/4 c Simple Tomato and Basil Sauce
1/4 c broth, water or coconut milk
2 farm fresh eggs
Salt, pepper and chopped basil
Heat sauce and broth or water in a small skillet on medium heat.
Crack 2 eggs right into the pan over the sauce.
Cover pan and cook for 2 minutes for over eggs over medium or 3-4 minutes if you like your eggs totally cooked through.
Season with salt, pepper and chopped basil.