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Pantry Pomodoro Sauce

What you'll need...

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 pint fresh cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)

1½ cups tomato passata (puree) or finely chopped tomatoes; if not using fresh tomatoes, increase to 2-3 cups

6 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional add-ins and garnishes...

Fresh or fried capers

Toasted panko breadcrumbs, seasoned with salt and/or parmigiano reggiano

Pecorino romano cheese

Crushed Calabrian chili peppers or red pepper flakes

Tinned tuna in olive oil

Anchovies (if using, dissolve in butter before adding garlic)

Fresh herbs


Toss cherry tomatoes with a generous dusting of kosher salt in a bowl and allow to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature. In a medium saute pan with a lid, cook garlic in 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute (watch closely!). Add salted cherry tomatoes (with their juices) and tomato puree and stir to combine. [For the puttanesca-style sauce pictured below, add a tin of tuna in olive oil, about a tablespoon of capers with some of the brine, and a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce. Break the tuna into pieces.] Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until tomatoes break down and puree begins to caramelize, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finish with the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with your favorite pasta (I recommend adding a bit of pasta water to the sauce, too), topped with any of the aforementioned garnishes, or use as a base for other dishes/combinations. Enjoy!

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