Basic Quick Tomato Sauce

Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (about 6-8), coarsely chopped (See Ann’s Tips)

  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, smashed and thinly sliced lengthwise

  • 1 small dried red pepper, seeds removed (optional)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)



  1. Heat the oil in a wok or heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer add the garlic and stir-fry until golden. Do not let it burn or it will become bitter. If you like a spicy sauce, add the pepper.

  2. Add the tomatoes and stir-fry. There will be a lot of spitting and hissing as the wet tomatoes hit the hot oil. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook the tomatoes down until they are reduced by about half and have taken on a more orangey hue. Adjust the seasoning by adding salt to taste. If the sauce looks like it’s drying out too much, add a little water. At this point freeze if not using immediately.

  3. Add the Parmesan, taste for seasoning then serve.

Coqui the Chef health benefits: Tomatoes not in season in your area? No worries. Canned tomatoes are just as good and healthy. Select brands with less salt. 

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