Farhad's Tomato Sauce

From Farhad Anklesaria.

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1 28-ounce can diced or whole tomatoes (not packed in puree or sauce) (Muir Glen is the best)
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves (about 8 leaves)
1 1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 pound pasta


  1. If using diced tomatoes, go to step 2. If using whole tomatoes, drain and reserve liquid. Dice tomatoes either by hand or in workbowl of food processor fitted with metal blade (three or four 1/2-second pulses). Tomatoes should be coarse, with 1/4-inch pieces visible. If necessary, add enough reserved liquid to tomatoes to total 2 cups.
  2. Process garlic through garlic press into small bowl; stir in 1 teaspoon water (see note, above). Heat 2 tablespoons oil and garlic in pan over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in basil, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente in large pot of boiling, salted water. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water; drain pasta, and transfer it back to cooking pot. Mix in reserved cooking water, sauce, and remaining oil and salt; cook together over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly, and serve immediately.

Expanded Recipes

With Anchovies & Olives
Follow Master Recipe for Pasta and Simple Tomato Sauce, increasing garlic to 3 cloves and adding 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes and 3 minced anchovy fillets along with garlic puree and oil. Substitute 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves for basil. Add 1/4 cup pitted, sliced Kalamata olives and 2 tablespoons drained capers along with remaining seasonings.

With Vodka Cream Sauce

Follow Master Recipe for Pasta and Simple Tomato Sauce, adding 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes along with garlic. Halfway through the 10-minute simmering time, add 1/2 cup vodka. Continue with master recipe, adding 1 cup heavy cream and ground black pepper to taste along with remaining seasonings. Transfer sauce to workbowl of food processor fitted with a steel blade; pulse to a coarse puree. Return sauce to pan; simmer over medium heat to thicken, 2 to 3 minutes.