← Back to Search Results
sauteeing Italian
Light Tomato Sauce Recipe-10894

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


I am reprinting this recipe, which was in The New James Beard, because it forms the basis for a nearly limitless number of variations. It also has the advantage of using canned tomatoes, so that you aren’t dependent on the season or the quality of the tomatoes in your market.

Yield: 3 cups, enough for about 1 pound pasta


  • 28-ounce can Redpack whole tomatoes in purée
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons butter


Cook the tomatoes, onions, salt, pepper, and basil over medium-high heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. If you want a smooth sauce, strain it or puree it in the food processor. I prefer to leave the sauce with lumps, just breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Then add the butter and continue to cook until it melts.


Instead of the basil, substitute 1 teaspoon dried oregano or tarragon or any other herb that you fancy.

© 1983 James Beard

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information is based on 6 servings and includes 1/2 teaspoon of added salt.


Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

100kcal (5%)
51mg (5%)
14mg (23%)
73mcg RAE (2%)
20mg (7%)
383mg (16%)
5g (24%)
8g (12%)
1mg (8%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

125-best-cupcake-recipes 125 Best Cupcake Recipes
by Julie Hasson
raos-cookbook Rao's Cookbook
by Frank Pellegrino
david-burkes-new-american-classics David Burke's New American ...
by David Burke, Judith Choate
125-best-vegan-recipes 125 Best Vegan Recipes
by Maxine Effenson Chuck, Beth Gurney
once-upon-a-tart-soups-salads-muffins-and-more-from-new-york-citys-favorite-bakeshop-and-cafe Once Upon a Tart: Soups, Sa...
by Frank Mentesana, Jerome Audureau
unforgettable-desserts Unforgettable Desserts
by Dede Wilson
cooking-for-friends Cooking for Friends
by Gordon Ramsay
baked-explorations Baked Explorations
by Matt Lewis
urban-italian-simple-recipes-and-true-stories-from-a-life-in-food Urban Italian: Simple Recip...
by Andrew Carmellini
a-new-way-to-cook A New Way to Cook
by Sally Schneider
allergy-free-desserts Allergy-Free Desserts
by Elizabeth Gordon
julias-kitchen-wisdom Julia's Kitchen Wisdom
by Julia Child

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?