Califonia Bountiful
Side Dish

The easiest tomato sauce you will ever make

Sacramento chef Patrick Mulvaney can think of plenty of uses for this easy-to-make tomato sauce. A favorite is serving it over cheesy polenta, sometimes with sautéed mushrooms. Happen to have leftover sauce? "We freeze it in ice cube trays. Then we have perfect 2-ounce cubes of tomato sauce at our beck and call."

Chef Patrick Mulvaney
Mulvaney's B&L, Sacramento

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1/2 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic
1 medium yellow onion, rough chopped
1 bunch thyme or oregano
4 tsp. salt
Pepper, to taste
1 (28-oz.) can tomatoes


Puree all ingredients except tomatoes in a blender; it will look like a green paste. Put in a pan and stir gently over medium heat until oil breaks out and garlic and onion begin to toast. Add tomatoes, rough chopped. Bring to a boil, turn off and puree. Check for seasoning.

"Sometimes we puree the tomatoes in the same blender used for the garlic to get all the flavor out," Mulvaney said. "In that case, once the sauce boils you are ready to serve. In the winter, we often simmer it longer to deepen the flavor—an hour or even all day. We put in parmesan rinds, too, which is a perfect use for scraps of cheese you have in the fridge."

Makes about 1 quart

Photo: © 2021 Manny Crisostomo

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