228 ounce cans Certified San Marzano tomatoes (Cento work well)
2large sprigs basil with leaves
¼teaspoonfreshly grated black pepper
2pinchescrushed red pepper flakes
Place olive oil, 1-tablespoon butter and onions in a large saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook the onions, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.
While the onions cook, pull or cut off the tough stem end of each tomato and crush the tomatoes with a potato masher. Pour all the tomatoes and their juices into the pan with the onion/garlic mixture.
Add bay leaf, basil, 5 tablespoons butter, kosher salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir well.
Bring sauce to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook until sauce has thickened, about 45 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and basil stem. If desired, puree the sauce with a stick blender or in a stand blender.
The sauce can be kept refrigerated, in an airtight container, up to 1 week or frozen up to 3 months.Yields 3 cups sauce.Use only fresh garlic, not bottled, for best flavor.Use San Marzano tomatoes for best flavor. If you can’t find them, canned Cento tomatoes work too.Fresh basil is highly recommended here. Dried basil has quite a different flavor and it won’t be as good.For more flavor, simmer it with a parmesan rind.Add red pepper flakes if you like a little heat.