An everyday, hardworking red sauce should require no more than a small grocery haul and 30 minutes to make. It should be the sauce you can make in a pinch, the one that never gets tossed out, and the one you crave when those two words—red sauce—are on your mind. It is also the sauce to master first—the one you use to find your go-to tomato brand, your “house” olive oil, and the precise amount of garlic you like. It should be personal, so use mine not so much as an end point, but as a trailhead.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed sauce pot or large Dutch oven over low heat.
- Add the olive oil and the garlic. Sweat for 30 to 60 seconds, until aromatic and translucent but without color.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, along with their liquid.
- Cook for 25 to 35 minutes, until the flavors are well incorporated, over low heat. You are not looking to reduce the mixture, just to bring the flavors together.
- Set aside until ready to use or cool, transfer to a nonreactive container, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.