The Speckled Palate

October 11, 2011

Simple Red Sauce

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I’m the kind of girl who, when she has a bad day, either craves barbecue or Italian food. Why these two completely different food groups? I have absolutely NO idea, but you’d better believe that when I’ve had a rough day, I will be in the kitchen making one or the other… or attempting to convince my husband to take me out to one of these kind of restaurants.

In college, I realized that cooking was a fun thing to do and to share with others. My first real thing to make was my mom’s spaghetti and meatballs. (If you haven’t tried my mom’s spaghetti and meatballs, you have not lived. True statement. It’s that good.) The thing is, though, that I don’t have the kind of patience my mom has when it comes to making the meatballs. And since I’m a little lazy when it comes to some things, I have spent time perfecting a bastardized version of my mother’s red sauce… without meatballs… or meat…

Use this recipe with… Baked Eggplant Parmesan 

You’ll start off with some EVOO, a finely chopped onion and minced garlic.

Sautee it up, baby.

Then you’ll pour in some red wine and let that cook down.

Really take the time to sniff the wonderfulness of this combination. It’s pretty magical, if you ask me.

And then you’ll throw in the tomato puree and spices. Then let the mixture cook low and slow… for as long as you have.

Simple Red Sauce
Yield: 8 servings

Simple Red Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This simple, spicy tomato sauce is perfect as a base for pizza or on top of pasta.


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced finely
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 29 oz. tomato puree
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, pour in the olive oil.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring around the saucepan until softened and slightly browned.
  3. Add wine to the onion and garlic, lowering the heat to the lowest setting. Simmer for about five minutes, or until the alcohol has cooked off.
  4. Add the tomato puree and the water, then measure in the spices.
  5. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes, then serve. The longer this simmers, the better, so you could literally let this sit on the stove all day and eat it at night, and it would be amazing.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74 Total Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 296mg Carbohydrates: 11g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 5g Protein: 2g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.
When you deem your red sauce done, take it off the heat, pour on top of pasta (or pizza) and dig in!


  1. Jessica

    I’m SO happy you posted this, I’ve been dying to know how to make a good red sauce. I cannot wait to try this!

  2. Renee

    Oh, I’m definitely trying this ASAP. I usually put white wine into my red sauces at the end of simmering. I’ve never tried red at the beginning!

  3. Susan

    This looks delish! My husband makes a really good sauce and we’re always trying to think of ways to spice it up, but we’ve never really tried to keep it simple, which can prove to be as good or even better.

  4. Sally R

    Erin thank you for sharing your recipe for red sauce. I found this from google approx 3 months ago and have made it several times now. It’s perfect and everyone thinks it’s delicious! I’ve made it with turkey meatballs a couple of times, shrimp, and tonight regular meatballs. It’s so good I couldn’t make it again without saying thank you! Sally

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