Recipe: Classic Tomato Sauce with a Twist

The only difference here from a traditional tomato sauce is a stick of cinnamon. I found that this spice nicely complements my recipe for turkey meatballs. Feel free to omit it if you're not a cinnamonophile.


    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 yellow onion, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • 1 twenty-eight-ounce can plum tomatoes, crushed together and mushed up before using, getting rid of any excess liquid but leaving the puree.
    • 1 twenty-eight-ounce can crushed tomatoes
    • ½ cup packed basil leaves, cut into strips (chiffonade)
    • 2 tablespoons chili flakes (if you like a little spice kick)
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • a few tablespoons of dried spices, if you have them on hand in the cabinet: basil, oregano, and thyme all work well.
    • salt and pepper
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • balsamic vinegar, to taste
    • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Gently saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients, up to and including the salt and pepper, and simmer gently for 30 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced to a desired consistency.

Remove the cinnamon stick, add butter, and stir until melted. Taste and adjust for seasoning: more salt and pepper, and a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar go a long way. Add Parmesan cheese, and stir until melted.

To read a story about how Sophie Brickman created this sauce to compliment her healthy turkey meatballs, click here.

Presented by

Sophie Brickman is a writer living and cooking in New York City. More

Sophie Brickman is a writer living and cooking in New York City. She is a graduate of Harvard College and the French Culinary Institute.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Health

Just In