Basic Pasta Red Sauce

Pasta’s an excellent way to have a nice dinner in the middle of the week, and what makes it really special is a fresh red sauce. This sauce is versatile, fast and allows for a glass of wine. Happiness all around.


It’s all in the sauce

Basic Pasta Sauce (4 Servings)

  • 2-4 lbs tomatoes, capped and cut
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 bottle white wine, chilled
  • ½ stick salted butter
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme

This is a super recipe. It can be thrown together in a hurry without precise measurements, and is a great way to use those beautiful heirloom tomatoes that are slowly decaying in the crisper.


You only need a few minutes and a few ingredients.

Chuck the tomatoes in a pot with about two glasses of wine. Use whatever you like to drink (personally I like something dry, like a pinot grigio). It’s important that the wine be chilled because there are two more glasses in the bottle, and you should pour at least one for yourself.

In the Pot

Put in enough wine to cover. The rest is for you.

Bring the liquid to a boil and, after a few minutes, remove the skins. Then give it a few hits with a potato masher to break it all into creamy goodness.

Add the onion and butter and begin stirring . Keep the pot on medium high heat until it reduces to a thick consistency. Continue stirring so that it does not burn or stick (not a problem — you’ll have the wine to keep you company).


Onions, butter & salt. What’s not too like?

Once enough of the liquid has cooked off you can remove it from the heat and stir in the thyme. Remember that you want keep enough liquid in the sauce to finish cooking the pasta. Since the butter’s salted you probably don’t need to add salt, but you can add more at this point if you’d like. When you serve the pasta and sauce you can garnish with cheese, parsley, black pepper, lemon zest, or just about anything else.

Total cooking time for a meal can be under half an hour, but there is a downside. Since this uses butter, leftovers cannot be kept in the fridge for more than a few days. Also, this sauce doesn’t freeze well, so it’s not something you can make in advance.

1 Comment

Filed under Main Courses, Pasta, Technique & Dirty Secrets, Vegetarian

One response to “Basic Pasta Red Sauce

  1. Sally

    Going to try this one!

    Sent from my iPhone


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