Sauteed Tomato Sauce

One of my favorite places to get recipes is the Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper.  I have her book, How To Eat Supper (which is fantastic), and listen to her weekly radio show (via podcast).  I also have subscribed to her weekly email newsletter, which sends weekly recipes.  This recipe is from her newsletter on September 2, 2009 — a long time ago, so the actual recipe is no longer posted on the site.

I’ve made this recipe several times and love it every time.  I also think it is possibly the prettiest tomato sauce you could hope for.  It is not necessarily a thick sauce — no tomato paste used — but it really shows off the tomatoes!

Pasta with a Last Hurrah Tomato Sauté

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Total: 40-ish minutes
Serves: 3-4 as a main dish

Olive oil (enough to film the bottom of the pan)
1/2 medium onion, diced
3-inch branch of fresh rosemary (also works to substitute a few branches of fresh thyme)
6 large fresh basil leaves, torn
Salt & fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (sometimes I leave this out when I want a sweeter sauce)
3 large cloves of garlic, thin sliced (I used minced)
1-1/2 lbs. rich-flavored tomatoes, chopped (I use a variety of heirlooms in different colors)
1-1/2 lbs. or 2 pint baskets good tasting cherry tomatoes, halved (I love those black/purple cherry tomatoes)
1/4 teaspoon sugar (when I want a sweeter sauce, I put in up to 1 teaspoon)
1 lb. linguine or spaghetti


1. Generously film the bottom of a 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan with olive oil and heat it over medium-high.  Add onions, rosemary, basil, a light sprinkling of salt, several grounds of black pepper, and the hot pepper.  Sauté onions until they soften.

2. Turn the heat to high.  Stir in garlic, tomatoes and sugar.  Sauté, stirring often and squashing down the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spatula until they are almost browning.  When thick, taste for seasoning and remove from heat, cover, and let stand 15 minutes for the flavors to mingle.

3. Cook the pasta in heavily salted, fiercely boiling water, stirring often, until tender yet firm to the bite.  (Lynne recommends at this point for you to take the sauce and run it through a food mill, but I have never done that.  I just eat it chunky.) Drain the pasta.  Toss with the sauce and serve immediately.

About jenny

Jennifer Smith Greene is originally from and lives currently in Burbank, California with her husband Gavin Greene. Jenny completed her undergraduate degree from Woodbury University in Graphic Design. She has worked as a graphics & web designer, both as an in-house and freelance designer. She also has completed a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. She has worked as a hospital chaplain and in support roles in various churches. In her spare time, Jenny enjoys watercolor painting. She has taken classes and workshops under Joseph Stoddard, Tom Fong, Danny Gregory and Jane Friend. Additionally, Jenny is active in the community and volunteers her time on the Board of Family Promise of East San Fernando Valley, a social service nonprofit dedicated to helping homeless children and their families by providing shelter and support services to help the families find jobs and housing. Jenny enjoys reading (and highly recommends the site Goodreads), watching movies, playing softball and tennis and taking walks with her husband. Otherwise, Jenny is always curious to find out about those people who come to her site and would love to hear from you!
This entry was posted in basil, dinner, garlic, olive oil, onion, pasta, recipe, red pepper flakes, rosemary, salt, splendid table, sugar, tomatoes, vegetarian. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *