Makes 4 pints

Homemade red sauce, paired with dried pasta makes a wonderful holiday or host gift. Dress it up as much as you like, perhaps adding a bottle of wine or olive oil, a wedge of Parmesan, and a loaf of crusty bread to make the gift grander. This recipe for a basic tomato sauce is made with a piece of Parmesan rind, which adds loads of flavor to the pot. Simmer the sauce for 45 minutes, discard the rind, ladle the sauce into jars, cool on the counter, and refrigerate. Add a pull date to each jar (the sauce should be used or frozen within seven days). Prepare a simple label that instructs recipients to bring the sauce to a boil and toss it with cooked pasta and cheese.


3tablespoons olive oil
1onion, chopped
3cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2cans (28 ounces each) whole, peeled tomatoes
1can (14.5 or 15 ounces) whole, peeled tomatoes
5sprigs basil
1Parmesan cheese rind (about
4 inches)
Salt, to taste

1. In a heavy-based soup pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 8 minutes, or until softened. Add the oregano and cook 1 minute more.

2. Add tomatoes, 1 sprig basil, and Parmesan rind. Break up the tomatoes with a spoon. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, stirring often, for 45 minutes.

3. Remove and discard the Parmesan rind and basil. Taste the sauce for seasoning and add salt (the Parmesan rind will have added some salt to the pot).

4. Place 1 sprig of basil in each of 4 clean pint jars. Ladle the sauce into the jars, leave to cool, and screw on the lids. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze.

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Karoline Boehm Goodnick can be reached at kboehmgoodnick@gmail.com.