Rosa’s "Two Way" Tomato Sauce


Norman Van Aken's Florida Kitchen

Published by University Press of Florida

Rosas Two Way Tomato Sauce
Rosas Two Way Tomato Sauce
This image courtesy of Debi Harbin

Editor's Note: When was the last time you made an easy tomato sauce recipe? If it's been a while, then you will want to see this recipe for Rosa’s "Two Way" Tomato Sauce. Bacon, garlic, and fresh basil leaves all impart a delicious and savory taste that you are sure to love. You can use this recipe with your favorite pasta dish, as it full of hearty flavor that everyone at the dinner table is sure to love. It is also used in the author's recipe for Pompano & Fideo Noodle Stew, so consider making a batch of the sauce in advance of when you plan to make that dish.

You can blend the sauce if you want a smoother consistency, but do so before adding the basil so you keep those pretty flecks within the sauce.

Makes3 cups

Cooking MethodSauteeing


Make Ahead RecipeYes

Occasional Fresco, Buffet, Buffet Meal, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get Together

Taste and TextureCreamy, Herby, Savory

Type of DishSauces


  • 1/4 cup finely diced fatty bacon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed up by hand
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper


  1. Heat a large heavy saucepan over medium heat.

  2. Add the bacon and oil. Cook until the bacon is beginning to crisp and has given off some of its fat.

  3. Sauté the garlic and shallot, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes.

  4. Add the sugar, stirring well and mashing it in with a heavy wooden spoon to break up. Cook for about 2 minutes, taking care not to allow this to burn. (Sugar accelerates the possibilities of burning.)

  5. Add the crushed red pepper. Stir briefly. Add the vinegar and stir well, as the sugar needs to be well dispersed. Add the stock. Increase the heat and bring to a high simmer; cook until reduced by half or a bit more, 10 to 12 minutes.

  6. Add the tomatoes and their juice. Season with a bit of salt and black pepper and bring just to a boil, then lower the heat and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the basil and stir. Season with more salt and black pepper if needed. Serve warm, or let cool, cover, and refrigerate.


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