Tinkered Tomato Sauce

Servings 3 cups, before straining


  • 3 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 tsps dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tsp dried leaf basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp crushed dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried leaf marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp dried leaf thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried ground sage
  • 28 oz can plain crushed tomatoes
  • dash of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese


  1. Saute the onion in the olive oil until soft. While it is cooking, crush all the herbs and spices {except the red pepper) with mortar and pestle, and immediately add to the onion (at least 5 mins cooking time for the herbs etc). Stir in the garlic and crushed red pepper and saute for 1 minute longer.

    Stir in the remaining ingredients, simmer over low heat for 30 – 45 minutes. Taste and adjust  - add more salt if desired.

    Can be put through the blender and strained for a smoother sauce (which allows use of chopped instead of crushed tomatoes and a rougher chop of the onion and garlic); it will be quite thin after straining.