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Tomato and Basil Sauce

Salsa di Pomodoro e Basilico

Makes 9 1/2 - 10 Cups


5 pounds ripe plum tomatoes or three 28-ounce cans crushed plum tomatoes with their liquid

1/2 cup Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil

2/3 cup diced onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups dry red wine

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon fine sea salt or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

6 to 8 large sprigs fresh basil


If using fresh tomatoes, core them, cut them into coarse chunks, and puree them in a food processor, blender, or food mill until smooth. Strain the fresh of canned tomatoes through a fine sieve to remove skins and seeds. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and cook the onion over a medium heat, stirring, until soft.

Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until it becomes soft. Do not let the garlic brown or an acid taste will be imparted in the sauce. Add the remaining ingredients, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.

This recipe is featured on show 1720, Lazy Lasagna - Lasagne Pigre.

This recipe is from MANGIA PASTA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1998.


  1. Kathleen Blythe's avatar

    Kathleen Blythe

    Dear Mary Ann,

    Love your show! Thank you for such an easy and yummy sauce. I have made it several times and used for it many different dishes. Always a staple for me to keep in the freezer.

    All the best,

  2. Bob Gibbia's avatar

    Bob Gibbia

    I have been watching your show for many years now, I have few of your books and think you are great. Love the new web page. I have cooked a few of you recipes and loved every one. God Bless
  3. margaret fitzgerald's avatar

    margaret fitzgerald

    i am wondering which brand of canned tomatoes you prefer? i like tuttorosso "italian style peeled plum shaped tomatoes" in the Blue can.mainly because i think the plum tomatoes are the largest & firmest (aside from san marzano) i've tried. however, i have been looking for taste tests & none list this brand; then i've heard "west coast" tomatoes are "sweeter & less acidic", i know that san marzano are favored but they are expensive for me, esp the volume that i cook.

    your comments & recommendations are welcome!

    thanks you

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