• 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 (28-ounce) can Italian Cento whole plum tomatoes and the juice
  • 2 tablespoons Italian herb seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lemon zest
  • knob of butter


In a medium pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 3 minutes, adding garlic for 30 seconds at the end. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for another 15 minutes, chopping the tomatoes gently and frequently with the edge of a spatula while they cook in the pan.  Lemon zest at the very end adds a brightness without adding additional acid which is already provided by tomato. The addition of a small knob of butter at the very end also supplies richness and helps bind everything together and gives it a nice sheen.  Just be sure to add the zest and butter at the very end and remove from the heat.

If you want to make it smooth (i.e., marinara), press it through a food mill, throw it in the Vitamix blender or food processor, or use a stick blender in the pot to puree.