My Grandma was the best cook I knew growing up. You could show up at her house and within half an hour she had enough food on the table to stuff you and have leftovers for tomorrow. Her specialty was whipping up tomato sauce in what seemed to be a matter of minutes. This recipe is my adaptation of her quick sauce. I still make it today but it never seems to taste the way she would make it.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion finely chopped
4 clove garlic, smashed
1 can peeled tomatoes 28oz
½ cup chicken stock
salt and pepper
heavy pinch crushed red pepper flakes
8-10 fresh basil leaves, torn
1lb of your favorite pasta
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil (for the pasta)
In a large saucepan, heat the oil, add the onion and cook over medium heat for two or three minutes. Add the garlic crushed red pepper flakes salt and pepper. Continue to cook until just starting to become golden. I like to leave the garlic in big pieces. If you don’t like garlic its easy to remove and if you love garlic there is nothing better than eating a big piece that has been simmering in tomato sauce. Next take the peeled tomato and squeeze in your hand over a bowl. The tomato juice and seeds will come out leaving you with just the pulp. Squeeze the tomatoes with your hands into the sauté pan. Take the tomato liquid and pour through strainer allowing the seeds to be separated. Add half of the tomato juice and the chicken stock to the sauté pan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.
In the mean time, add your favorite cut of pasta to the boiling pot of water and cook until almost al dente. The pasta should be chewy, almost slightly under cooked. Strain the pasta reserving some of the pasta water. Add pasta to the now cooked sauce and fold in. Add ½ ladle of pasta water to the sauce. This will help finish cooking the pasta and add another layer of flavor to the sauce. Put the pasta into a large bowl and serve with grated cheese.