Cooking with Rocco
by Cooking with Rocco
2 Quarts
1 hr 10 min

The best part about Italian cooking is the simplicity. The majority of the time, Italian recipes don’t require a laundry list of ingredients. Instead, they only require a few simple ingredients… and most importantly, the best quality ingredients you can afford.

This pomodoro recipe is exactly that. It’s simple, clean, and uses the best quality ingredients your wallet can afford. What do I mean by clean you ask? Well, there are no aromatics or wilted herbs floating in the sauce. Instead, I add garlic cloves and EVOO to a heavy bottom pan, and cook low and slow until softened and the garlic begins to caramelize. Once caramelized, I remove the garlic and add the crushed tomatoes. Instead of adding a handful of fresh herbs, I create a bouquet garni (see picture below) of fresh basil and fresh oregano and add it to the sauce the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking. When the sauce is done, I toss in the pasta, and top it with fresh basil and copious amounts of parmigiana.

Recipe details
  • 2  Quarts
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 1 Hours Total time: 1 hr 10 min
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  • 2 (28oz) can crush tomatoes (see notes)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 10 garlic cloves, whole
  • 15g fresh basil (About a handful of basil leaves)
  • 10g fresh oregano (about 5 sprigs)
  • Salt to taste

In a large, heavy bottom saucepan, add the EVOO and garlic cloves. Turn the heat to medium-low heat, and cook the garlic low and slow until softened and they begin to caramelize. Once the garlic is caramelized, remove the cloves from the pot.
Add the crushed tomatoes and cook low and slow for 45 to 60 minutes, uncovered. Add a little water to the tomato cans (about 1/4 of each can), swish it around to get all that excess sauce off the sides, and pour it into the pot.  
While the sauce is cooking, make a bouquet garni with the basil and oregano (see picture above). And add it to the sauce during the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking. At this time, taste the sauce and add salt as needed 
When the sauce is done cooking, remove it from the heat. You can leave the herbs in the sauce until you use it. 
  • You want to find the best quality tomatoes you can find, and most importantly, you can afford.
  • If you cannot find good quality crushed tomatoes, you can use whole tomatoes. However, I prefer to put whole tomatoes through a food mill.
  • I use the garlic to flavor the oil, so no chunks of garlic float in the sauce. However, you can add the garlic back to the sauce if you don't mind the garlic.
Cooking with Rocco
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  • Aimee Aimee on May 25, 2021

    This sounds like it would be packed with flavour! Love how simple it is.

  • Gina Garbo Gina Garbo on Jun 07, 2021

    You should not use canned tomatoes, Just get fresh ones and puree them!!!

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    • Kfm33362665 Kfm33362665 on Apr 29, 2023


      use fresh tomatoes 🍅