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Simple Marinara Sauce

1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes, seeded and chopped if not already chopped, with juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
18 teaspoon sugar
A few sprigs of fresh basil, if available (see variations below)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon slivered fresh basil (optional)


Pulse the chopped tomatoes in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, or pass through the medium blade of a food mill before you begin. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, wide nonstick skillet or saucepan and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to a minute, until it begins to smell fragrant, and add the tomatoes and their juice, the sugar, salt, and basil sprigs. Stir and turn up the heat. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until thick and fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes, or longer if necessary. Remove the basil sprigs and wipe any sauce adhering to them back into the pan. Taste and adjust seasonings. Stir in the slivered basil.

Source: cooking.nytimes.com