Bittman’s Easy Tomato Sauce

One of the annoying aspects about living someplace temporarily (i.e. my dad’s house) is not actually unpacking all of one’s stuff. I left the contents of my mom’s kitchen in boxes in my dad’s basement while I worked on emptying out the place. Finally, the boxes and I made it Portland, and now I’m giddy every time I use my mom’s old kitchen scale. Allow me a few words about this simple, beloved tool. Plain and silent, lacking in technological swagger though it may be, the scale performs its task magnificently– elegantly, if you will. Now that we are reunited, I take great pleasure in weighing everything, from a pound of dried beans to my luscious farmer’s market tomatoes.

Oh yes, the tomatoes. That’s why I started writing this post. I wanted to make an uber-simple tomato sauce to showcase their flavor. So naturally, I looked for a Mark Bittman recipe. He had exactly what I was looking for.


Ingredients for Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

salt & pepper

3-5 Tbsp olive oil or butter (guess which I used)

1 1/2 pound tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 lb pasta (I used whole wheat shells because it’s what I had)

1/2 cup shredded basil leaves (I didn’t use quite a half cup)

(Note: I omitted the suggested addition of freshly grated parmesan because I didn’t have any)


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta. When done, drain.

Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add the tomatoes.

Stir every once in a while, add salt to taste, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the tomatoes have broken down slightly.

Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over pasta with basil and cheese if desired. And perhaps tapenade 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s