Salsa di pomodoro… Tomato Sauce!

{also known as Salsa Semplice— Simple Sauce}

This is the first type of sauce my mom taught me how to make. Every good Italian Mamma has a version. Here’s mine:

andsayhello Gnocchi alla sorrentina with Salsa Semplice Tomato Sauce, Casagiove,

Salsa Semplice // Simple Sauce or Marinara (Updated)

This is the first type of sauce my mom taught me how to make. Every Italian has a version. Here’s mine:

Author Patricia from CASAGIOVE


  • 1 28 oz. can whole peeled San-Marzano tomatoes blend in blender or use your hands to crush them up
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and slightly smashed
  • 2 stalks fresh basil
  • few fresh basil leaves cut chiffonade, for serving
  • 1-2 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 generous pinch kosher salt
  • olive oil extra virgin; enough to coat bottom of pot and then add a little more


  1. Heat up a heavy bottomed pot or pan.

  2. Add enough olive oil to cover bottom of pot and then a little more so that there is enough oil to steep the garlic cloves and basil in.

  3. Add garlic cloves, basil stalks and crushed red pepper and let steep for a few minutes on low/medium heat to flavor the oil. Then remove garlic and basil and set aside.

  4. Add tomatoes. Rinse out can with a bit of water and add to the sauce. Season with salt to taste. Stir. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

  5. You can finely chop the steeped garlic and basil and add it back to the sauce, or you can choose not to for a milder flavor.

  6. Toss with 1 lb. of pasta and top with a little Parmigiano-Reggiano and some basil chiffonade for a quick and easy dinner, use as a base for your pizza creations or as a dipping sauce for breads. It can also be used for Eggplant Parmigiana, meatballs or Gnocchi alla Sorrentina. The options are endless! Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

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Patricia Bergen
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Patricia Bergen

Shopping for and preparing meals with family in Italy was a beautiful experience— one that I dreamed about sharing with my community in Dana Point, California. CASAGIOVE, recipes & notes, is the expression of that dream and I'm so happy to share it with you!


  1. I am so proud of you. Visiting your store is another reason for a trip to Southern California. I love your website – it is warm. Looking forward to hearing more news about this exciting endeavor. I wish you lots of love and luck.

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