Funny story...when I first moved to the east coast in 2010 my husband and I went to an Italian restaurant called Guerriero's. This quickly became our favorite place but...they had something on the menu called "Sunday Gravy." The midwest in us thought...gravy with pasta, WHAT?? Come to find out Sunday Gravy is red sauce. So this is my best interpretation of red sauce from the east coast.
Grab yourself a medium size dutch oven and place over medium heat. Add your olive oil to the pan.
While your olive oil is heating up; dice your onion, garlic, basil, and crush your whole tomatoes. ***TIP: when you crush your whole tomatoes use your hands and remove the tomatoes stem. Also, save the sauce from the can because that will go into your dutch oven later. This is a messy job but it adds good texture to your sauce.
Now that your oil is hot, add your onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté your onions until they are tender and slightly translucent. This is about 10 minutes.
Add your basil and garlic to the onions, and cook for about 15 minutes. Continue to stir the garlic, otherwise it will burn if left alone in the pan.
After 15 minutes add the red pepper flake and herbs de provence. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Finally add your crushed canned tomatoes and the whole tomatoes you crushed earlier (don't forget the sauce the whole tomatoes were in too). Add a heavy pinch of salt to the tomato sauce.
Bring everything to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer your red sauce for about 1 hour or reduce by half.
After you have reduced your sauce give it a taste. If you feel like it is too acidic, this is when you add sugar. I almost ALWAYS add a little bit of sugar to help balance out the flavors. You might also want to add a little salt here too, but it is all up to you and what you like.
That's it!!! You officially have become a Soprano and made Sunday Gravy. Enjoy!!!
***TIP: this is a great recipe to make and freeze for night your don't know what to make after work!