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Valentino Pasta

Simple San Marzano Sauce- Basic Tomato Sauce








This is our go to red sauce these days. I like it because when it’s not cooked down for hours it shows off the flavor of the tomatoes and doesn’t have that heavy feel or taste. It also really compliments an artisan made pasta instead of hiding it under tons of garlic and spices. If you start with good quality San Marzano tomatoes, and remember Rule 1 and Rule 2 you’ll be eating great in no time flat!


Simple San Marzano Tomato Sauce



  • 1 lb Valentino Pasta
  • 1 28 oz Can San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Sliced
  • 12 Fresh Basil Leaves, divided
  • 1 Pinch Crushed Red Pepper, more to taste
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp of Sugar (optional)
  • 4 Tbs EVO
  • ½ Cup Pasta Water, As Needed
  • ½ Cup Parmigiano Reggiano, Grated plus more for garnish


  1. Empty can of tomatoes in a bowl. Crush roughly with your hands. Add salt & 8 basil leaves & set aside.
  2. Put 4 Tbs EVO in a large, high-sided skillet on medium heat.  Add garlic & crushed red pepper.  Sauté 2-3 minutes until golden. Add tomato mixture.  Bring to a simmer.
  3. After sauce has simmered 10 minutes, drop your pasta into boiling, salted water.
  4. When pasta is 1 minute short of al dente, drain it & add it to the sauce.
  5. Finish cooking pasta in sauce for 1 minute, adding pasta water if it is too thick.
  6. Cut the heat.  Add Parmigiano Reggiano.
  7. Garnish with remaining chopped basil, more parm & EVOO.


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