Quick and simple sugo di pomodoro is a basic Italian sauce that makes the tomatoes shine. It’s a perfect solution for busy weeknights when you want a homemade sauce without spending hours in the kitchen. This delicious recipe comes together in under 20 minutes, using pantry staples such as canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, and dried herbs.
Red sauce holds a special place in the hearts of Italians, with each household cherishing its own unique version passed down through generations. It is lovingly referred to as “nona’s sauce” and goes by various names such as sugo finto, alla marinara, salsa or tomato gravy.
Table of Contents
Tomatoes originally a “new world” fruit, made their way into Italy during the high renaissance around 1540s. At first categorized as a novel variety of eggplants, and even deemed as possibly toxic, tomatoes had a long journey of transformation before becoming a culinary staple. The botanists, captivated by their vibrant hues of deep red and golden yellow coined the new name “pomi d’oro” (meaning “golden fruit”), eventually recognized as “pomodoro”. It took almost three hundred years for the tomato to transform from a curiosity and ornamental plant to a fundamental and indispensable ingredient in Italian cuisine.
David Gentilcore dedicated an entire book to tracing the historical trajectory of tomatoes in Italian cuisine, providing a comprehensive documentation of their journey. Within its pages, readers are immersed in a wealth of juicy information about tomatoes, delving into their centuries-long voyage from Spanish ships to Italian tables.
Pellegrino Artusi’s book, “La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene,” published in 1891, possibly contains the earliest documented recipe for tomato sauce. In this culinary tractate, Artusi presents a recipe for Salsa di Pomodoro.
Grocery and Pantry List for Sugo
5 minutes preparation
10 minutes cooking
Making Sugo Step by Step
- Begin by heating the oil in a saucepan, then incorporate the finely minced diced shallots or onions. Sauté the onions until they become tender without changing the color.
- Next, add the crushed garlic and cook for just under a minute followed by crushed tomatoes, along with a seasoning of salt, pepper, and oregano.
- Once the mixture starts boiling, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes. Incorporate freshly chopped basil, and then turn off the heat.
- Finally, if necessary, make any adjustments to the seasonings according to your taste preferences.
Ways to Use Sugo Tomato Sauce
- Use it for pizza
- Use it with pasta
- Mix with vegetable noodles
- Use in baked dishes such as lasagna, baked ziti
- Highlight as a standalone dipping sauce
How to Store Homemade Tomato Sauce
Once cooled, store in a glass jar or non-reactive container and keep in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze.
Tomato sauce freezes well. Defrost at room temperature (or fridge) or reheat on the stovetop or microwave.
Tips and Wisdom from Cafe Osharak
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Sugo Di Pomodoro – Quick and Simple Tomato Sauce
- 1 can 28-ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1 shallot or onion
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 -2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dry oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh basil
- In a saucepan heat the oil and add the diced shallots.
- Saute the onions until they soften but do not change the color.
- Add the crushed garlic and cook for a minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, and season with salt, pepper, and oregano.
- Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat down and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the basil and turn the heat off.