- 1 - 14 oz can whole peeled tomatoes*
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 to 2 tsp chile flakes
- 2 fresh basil stems, optional
- sea salt, to taste
To make the sauce, heat a pan over medium heat and then add the oil and garlic and let cook until the garlic just starts to color — then add the chile flakes and cook for another 30 seconds or so. The reason the chile flakes are not just added with the garlic as they turn the sauce red, which just makes it more difficult to see the color change in the garlic.
Next, add the tomatoes and a good pinch of salt. Note: For the tomatoes, we like to buy ones that are packed in a purée. If the tomatoes are packed in water (it will look like a watery tomato sauce) you may need to drain them first or let the sauce cook a bit longer for the excess liquid to evaporate. Also note, depending on how you are serving the sauce, you may want to pulse the tomatoes with a hand blender a few times to break them up a bit before adding them to the pan.
Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer, add the basil stems (if using), and then turn the heat down to low and let the sauce simmer, stirring occasionally. Let the sauce cook for at least 20 to 30 minutes. The time it takes to cook really depends on how you plan to use it. For pizza, it is best if most of the moisture has been evaporated that way the sauce won’t make the crust of the pizza soggy. If serving it with pasta, the sauce can be a bit runnier, if desired.
Once done, taste for seasoning, and then let the sauce cool before using it, especially if using on raw pizza dough as the hot sauce would make the crust soggy.
The sauce will keep for several days in the refrigerator or it can be frozen.