Basic Tomato Sauce
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup finely chopped red onions
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup sweet wine, such as Mavrodaphne or sweet Marsala
1/2-1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/2 cups grated ripe tomatoes (about 11/2 pounds) or one 16-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice
1 cinnamon stick
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and sauté the onions over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until soft.
Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until glossy.
Add the wine and pepper and simmer for 1 minute.
Add the grated tomatoes, cinnamon stick, salt and about 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and discard the cinnamon stick.
The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Add 1-2 springs rosemary, thyme or oregano.
To sweeten the sauce, instead of sugar, add ½ cup sultanas or 1 finely grated carrot.
Just before serving, add a handful basil leaves, torn with the fingers, to the sauce.
To add depth, sauté 2-3 slices of bacon or ½ cup chopped spicy sausage, together with the onions.