Lidia’s Marinara Sauce
Active Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes | Serves Makes about 3½ cups; enough for 1 pound of pasta | Vegan | Gluten Free
- 28-ounce can whole or crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- 7 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper or a small dried whole chile
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large fresh basil sprig or ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
If using whole tomatoes, pour them into a large bowl and crush with your hands (skip this step if using crushed tomatoes). Pour 1 cup of water into the empty tomato can and slosh it around to get the tomato juices. Set aside.
Peel the garlic and slice it as thinly as you can.
Place a large skillet on the stove and turn the heat on to medium. Add the oil and heat until it shimmers (about 1 minute). Add the garlic. As soon as garlic is sizzling (do not let it brown), add the tomatoes, then the reserved tomato water. Add the crushed red pepper or whole chile, oregano (if using) and salt. Stir.
Place basil sprig, including stem, on the surface (like a flower). Let it wilt, then submerge in sauce. Simmer sauce until thickened and oil on surface is a deep orange, about 15 minutes. (If using oregano, taste sauce after 10 minutes of simmering, adding more salt and oregano as needed.) Discard basil and chile (if using).
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