About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Tomato Sauce with Heavy Cream | Main | Amatriciana – Tomato Sauce with Pancetta and Chili Pepper »

Tomato Sauce with Garlic and Basil

Heavenly! That is all that I need to say about this sauce. Amazing aroma, and mouth watering flavor. It is such a simple sauce to make and definitely one of my favorites.


I started out with canned San Marzano tomatoes, because the local tomatoes are not yet at their peak of flavor. I simmered these with some good extra virgin olive oil, five minced cloves of garlic, salt and some freshly ground black pepper for about a half hour. When the oil had started to come to the top, I removed it from the heat and mixed in some basil leaves that I had torn into small pieces. I served this with spaghettini. Since Marcella didn’t specifically mention topping this with parmesan I tried it first without it just to get the authentic flavor and it was great. Of course, I am so used to topping my sauces with cheese, I did add some when I sat down to eat. Michael was oohing and ahhing over this one. This sauce will be a staple in our house from here on out.

Comments (4)

Beth, basil is one of my favorite herbs and probably my favorite for flavoring tomato sauce. I think it is because it is such a familiar combination here in St. Louis, don't you?
Because of immigration patterns, the Italian influence on this city has been primarily from Campania south - and mostly Sicilian.

Beth responds- Yes, well the Sicilian influence in my house is great indeed!

Yum Beth, it looks like summer in a bowl!

Looks great - I appreciate that canned tomatoes can be used. Imagine the different flavour we'd get using the tomatoes in the store right now? BAH

Beth responds-Yes, the tomatoes in the stores right now are really horrible. I have been trying to grow some heirloom tomatoes on my own, but our weather is so out of sync here now that my plants look pitiful. Hopefully, at some point this summer we will have great tomatoes to choose from. I can't wait!

Marcella Hazan:

It is so simple one is tempted to say it's fool proof, but in fact the simpler something is, the fewer the steps and the ingredients, the easier it is to go wrong. If the tomatoes are less than meaty and naturally ripe and the oil is mediocre and you let the garlic turn brown that sauce can be horrible. Thank you for doing everything right, Beth. I did not suggest in my recipe that you top with cheese because the path I generally, but not invariably, follow is no cheese with an olive oil sauce, top with cheese if there is butter in the sauce. The simpler and purer the olive oil sauce is - and this is one of the purest and most transparent - the more reluctant I am to muddy up the flavor with cheese. There are of course exceptions and one of the most obvious is pesto where olive oil and cheese are inseparable.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 23, 2010 8:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Tomato Sauce with Heavy Cream.

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