Basic Tomato Sauce





Introduction: Basic Tomato Sauce

This is an easy tomato sauce that you can make from canned tomatoes and season to your tastes. It'll take about a half hour and requires very little work. And it's 8 million times better than the stuff you'll get in a jar.

Step 1: Ingredients:

  • one 28 oz can crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce, no salt or low salt preferred
  • one medium onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Italian seasoning or oregano & basil
  • red chili flakes or dried red chilies
  • red wine vinegar
  • olive, canola or vegetable oil, for sauteing
You'll notice I didn't put exact measurements for many of the ingredients - you'll do pinches here and there to taste. If you like a sweeter tomato sauce, add extra basil. If you like stronger tomato sauces, add more oregano and/or chiles.

I also prefer crushed tomatoes to tomato sauce - crushed has a lot more body and some chunks. But sauce is great if you like little to no chunks.

If you'd like to do a marinara style sauce, use half an onion and equal amounts of diced carrots and celery. They add tons of flavor!

Step 2: Dice Onion, Mince Garlic.

You can mince the onion too - it's all personal taste. I even know people that grate the onion - all up to you.

Step 3: Saute the Onions.

Add about a 1/2 tablespoon of oil to a pan, enough to cover the bottom. Heat over a medium flame until the oil shimmers.

Drop in your onions, and cook until soft and slightly translucent.

Step 4: Add Garlic, Herbs and Spices!

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, making sure to stir often. Now you'll add your seasonings!

I like to add a good pinch of salt and black pepper to start, at least one red chili or about 1/2 tsp red chili flakes, and at least a teaspoon or so of Italian seasoning. 

Stir this around and cook until very fragrant.

Step 5: Add Tomatoes!

Pour in your tomatoes! Once in, mix thoroughly. At this point, I normally like to add a bit of water (1/4 to 1/2 up) to the tomato can and swish it around to get all the tomato-y goodness, and pour that into the pot as well. This will thin the sauce a little and let it simmer longer without burning to the bottom of the pan.

Step 6: Simmer!

Cook it as long as you can - I normally try to do at least 30 minutes. If I'm ever making tomato sauce for dinner, I'll start the sauce before I do anything else so it has time to simmer.

After it's simmered for 10-15 minutes, check the seasonings. Now you can add a little more of whatever you like.

As an added bonus, adding a bit of red wine vinegar at the end makes the sauce infinitely tasty. I recommend adding at least a tablespoon or so in the last five minutes of cooking.

It's perfect over pasta of any kind, in lasagna, or mixed into rice. I really enjoy using half over pasta, and adding sriracha to the second half and mixing it into rice. I'm actually doing that tonight, Rice and sriracha tomato sauce is the best.



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    Simmering now! Smells amazing!!

    Dear Jessy,
    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes, You are some lady.
    Kind regards.

    I had to google sriracha, sounds like it'd go well!

    It is so good, you should locate a bottle and BECOME ONE OF US


    *in monotone* of us...

    I find an nice aged Basalmic Vinegar does wonders for any tomatoe sauces I've made.

    I will try this! I hate the bottled stuff but it always takes longer I thought to make your own. Thanks for sharing!

    if you like that rooster sauce, try LEE KUM KEE brand sweet garlic chili sauce. i like it even better than sriracha (which i call rooster sauce). it has a fuller taste and you dont have to mix it with anything like ketchup, harder to find tho.

    Pretty much my favorite recipe, cheap and easy to make but so much more rewarding than just opening a can!
    If you want to get a bit more fancy, I recommend adding one or two pieces of star anise. You might think that's a bit exotic for an otherwise traditional italian tomato sauce but it really just helps rounding it off. Don't forget to take them out again before you serve/puree it.

    That sounds wonderful. I might have to get a little bit to try that. :)