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.

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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.

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