I know..I know…this is the third tomato sauce I’ve posted here. It’s just too good not to share, though!
If you’ve been trained to believe that any good tomato sauce requires an entire day to cook, I’ve got an interesting development to share with you. You know those nights when you really want a large bowl of spaghetti with tomato sauce and can’t imagine simmering sauce for an hour and a half or opening a *gasp* jar? Well, Heidi at 101 Cookbooks posted a sauce recipe nearly four years ago upon which I only stumbled within the past month. It is absolutely genius. And it really only takes 5 minutes to prepare. Seriously. It’s a dream of a sauce for when you’re pressed for time and want something homemade. It’s especially useful if, like me, you require a pasta fix every few days and don’t have the patience to slave over a hot stove to make something acceptably good.
I can even offer more praise. In addition to the short amount of time it takes to make the sauce, there’s also the added benefit that there aren’t many ingredients required. Extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, crushed tomatoes and lemon zest: all ingredients you most likely have waiting in your pantry to be used at this very moment.
I’ve used this sauce over pasta, on pizza and as a sauce for roasted vegetables (I’m partial to spooning it over brussels sprouts). Every time I make it, it’s faultless. While the recipe, in its original form, is perfect, there can be modifications made. For instance, if you’d like to cut the oil down a bit, instead of using ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1/8 cup will work fine. In addition, the amount of lemon zest you add can be tweaked, depending on your personal taste. I’ve tried it with both the recommended amount and with a little less, and every time it has tasted flawless.
Quick Tomato Sauce
Yield: about 1 quart
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. fine grain sea salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
zest from one medium lemon
Add the olive oil, red pepper flakes and garlic to a cold medium sized sauce pan. Put the pan over medium-high heat and stir as the mixture simmers for about 45 seconds. At this point, the garlic and red pepper flakes should be fragrant, but not brown. Add the crushed tomatoes and heat for a few minutes until the olive oil combines with the tomatoes and the sauce is heated through. Remove pan from heat and taste for seasoning, adding more salt if necessary. Stir in the lemon zest.
If serving this sauce over pasta I like to add fresh basil ribbons and some grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese. It’s lovely.
From 101 Cookbooks