Anna’s Basic Multi-Use Sauce

Anna Di Masi-Riggs
Born: Ceglie del Campo, Bari, Italy
Recipe: Anna’s Basic Multi-Use Sauce

Anna’s Basic Multi-Use Sauce

*** Variation #1 ***


  • 1 – 24oz can crushed tomatoes (Progresso best)

  • 1/3 Cup + 2 tblsp Virgin olive oil (not a blend)

  • 4 Cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1/8 Tsp. crushed red pepper (may add more as desired)

  • ½ Tsp. salt

  • 1 Tsp. dried basil flakes

  • ½ cup water (approx)


  1. In a pot, slightly brown garlic in olive oil on medium heat.

  2. Pour crushed tomatoes into browned garlic, scraping can.

  3. Pour water into can and swish around until all sauce is cleaned off can, then pour the water into sauce.

  4. Add remainder of ingredients, stir well and bring to a boil.

  5. Reduce heat and cook on low temp. for 15-20 minutes. May stir once during cooking process, may cook less time according to temperature of your stove.


Keep in mind, I usually don’t measure anything, but this is pretty close, feel free to adjust to taste after you’ve made it the first time. All ingredients are staples in my kitchen. From those ingredients I can make sauces to fit any occasion by just adding or removing some ingredient.

*** Variation #2 (with Sausage) ***


  • Lb. or 4-5 links sausage from Italia Panetteria


  1. Place sausage in baking dish with ¾ cup water, single layer

  2. Cover with foil and bake at 375F for 20-25 minutes.

  3. When done, drain any liquid, then invert into sauce (#1)

  4. Cook an additional 15-20 minutes on low heat and covered.


This also goes good with variation #3

*** Variation #3 (with Sausage & Peppers) ***


  • 2-3    Peppers, according to size, mix red & green. (Usually green are less expensive).

  • 1/3    Cup  Extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt


  1. Wash peppers first

  2. Cut peppers in ¼ in. slice, lengthwise. First cut pepper in half, remove seeds and pit — I like cutting slices with pepper cut side up. (Try cutting with cut side down, you’ll see why I prefer to cut slices from cut side up).

  3. Place peppers in baking dish, single layer.  

  4. Cover with olive oil and sprinkle salt lightly over all and with hand make sure all the peppers are coated with oil and salt.

  5. Flatten to make single layer. 

  6. Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes turning once after 10 minutes or so, (lightly browned).

  7. When done drain any liquid, then invert into sauce & sausage (#1&2)

  8. Cook an additional 5-10  minutes on low heat and covered.

More variations to come.

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