Lidia Bastianich Sauces


Salsa di Pomodoro


By Lidia’s Kitchen sponsored by Marcangelo Foods


There is a version of a tomato sauce which is light: just tomatoes, garlic and olive oil, quickly cooked with some added basil. The tomato sauce in this recipe is longer-cooking, with vegetables added to it, making it more complex in flavor.


Serves 6


  • ripe tomatoes (either fresh during harvest season or whole tomatoes canned)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup peeled and finely shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery, including leaves
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • salt to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste



Heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and bay leaves. Slosh out the tomato cans with 2 cups of water and add that as well. Bring everything to a boil. Season lightly with salt and crushed red pepper. Lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 45 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Taste, and season with more salt and red pepper if necessary.


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