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20 Minute Tomato Sauce (Video)

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When my Mom made sauce, she made sauce.

It was always a huge pot and an all day affair.

It was always on Sunday and it will always be a memory that reminds me of my childhood.

When I first moved to California (8 years ago!) I made sauce all the time.

It was my way of staying connected to everything that I missed so much back in Jersey.

But as I continued to experiment more in the kitchen, I slowly began to pull further and further from the traditional Italian recipes I grew up with.

I was experimenting more and having lots of fun with the abundance of amazing produce and fresh foods that So.Cal has to offer.

But I gotta tell you guys, ever since Katie has come along, I find myself craving all of the foods I grew up with again.

Perhaps it’s because I see myself in her and remember the types of foods I was eating at her age and simply want to share that with her OR perhaps it’s my way of keeping her Grandma and Grandpa relevant in our house while living clear across the country.

More than likely it’s bit of both.

But all I know for sure, is that I can’t stop calling and emailing my Mom and Dad for reminders of how they “made this” or “how they make that”.

This sauce is a very modern version of what my Mom used to make.

And even though my version only cooks for about twenty minutes it still manages to fill my home with all the aromas of love, safety, and security that I had when I was growing up.

I want to be sure to create that same environment for my little girl. And so… I make sauce.

20 Minute Tomato Sauce

Yield: 6 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped up

1 medium yellow onion, diced

A fat pinch of red pepper flakes

2- 28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes

1 bay leave

1 tbsp dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan.Add onion, red pepper flakes along with a pinch of salt and sauté about five minutes before adding in the garlic.

Once the veggies are fragrant, tender, and translucent you are ready to stir in the tomatoes, bay leave, and oregano.Season with some salt and pepper and allow the sauce to come to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for another ten minutes.Adjust your seasonings and enjoy!

Makes about 6 cups

Serving Size = ½ cup: Calories: 86; Total Fat: 1.1g; Saturated Fat: 0.2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 298mg; Carbohydrate: 9.4g; Dietary Fiber: 2.2g; Sugars: 4.2g; Protein: 2.1g

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11 comments on “20 Minute Tomato Sauce (Video)

  1. I was expecting a cute ending with Katie in it, but I was in for a surprise..lol. Then ending just cracked me up for a good one minute.

    But seriously I remember this being in your older recipe archives and I made it back then. I think I should make this again! Thanks for sharing your memories with us!

  2. If I am freezing the sauce would it be better to wait until I am reheating it to add the parsley fresh? Also, would cilantro work as well as the parsley?

  3. LOL Dani you crack me up! Loved your out take!

    I to also grew up with the Sunday sauce pot cooking away on the stove filling the air with that sense of “home.” So I can truly appreciate a good 20 minute sauce! I still find myself making a pot of sauce just to smell that great smell I used to have when I was young too. lol Thanks for sharing this recipe, I just love how you always make the hardest of meals into a “simple and clean” dish. =)

  4. Priyanka – Wow! You are good:) This used to be in my archives prior to my “mini-crash (we lost over 40 videos!). Anyhow – hopefully you will try it again:)

    Dee – I often freeze this sauce but not without keeping some in the fridge which is why I always go ahead and toss the parsley right in. BUT you could definitely hold off on the parsley until you are ready to use the sauce… this will give it a really fresh flavor!! As for cilantro, this is one recipe that I am going to say, “NO”. I’m usually pretty flexible with substitutions but cilantro in an Italian pasta sauce is going to really change the vibe! I would say, “stick to parsley if you’ve got it”.

    Marcia – Thanks Marcia! There really is nothing like that smell, is there?!

  5. LOVE the story, so sweet! I’ve been making a similar recipe recently and then pureeing it with my hand blender, So good!

  6. Dani you are a hoot – I LOVE your outtakes – so fun!

    This sauce looks and sounds delicious. I always make up a bunch in the summer with fresh tomatoes that I freeze, but, come winter when it all runs out, I am all over this recipe!

    P.S. I could totally see you on the Next Food Network Star – you so need to apply again 😀

  7. Your videos always inspire me. I can do this!

  8. Hey Dani, how much parsley did you add in? a cup?

  9. ignore my last question. I see you used a handful. :)

  10. Dani I love your recipes! I grew up with spaghetti Sundays too! And many other days too haha! Truly my weakness. My mom always makes meat sauce with ground beef. Since I have been trying to healthy eat I use ground turkey OR Morningstar farms “crumbles”. One of the things my mom always used as a secret and my grandmother too was always in her sauce was just a pinch of sugar. It made the sauce less tart and acidic in your stomach. I have always een a pasta girl and I have a 2 year old daughter that can shovel in some spaghetti and sauce and I love watching her do it lol. She is such a healthy eater in every other way! Lol. I just watched your spaghetti squash video and I have never tried it but I plan on making that for dinner tonight! Yum yum. We will give it a try!! :-) it fits in with my advocare 24 day challenge!!! Thanks for all the great recipes.

  11. Dani could i use fresh tomatoes? xx

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