Basic Tomato Sauce

SauceVeganPasta SauceTomato Sauce

A good tomato sauce is the basis for so many dishes—pizza, pasta, chicken, and fish. Here is a delicious basic tomato sauce recipe. Marinara sauce.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

A good tomato sauce is the foundation for so many wonderful dishes—pizza, pasta, chicken, and fish.

Here is a recipe for a basic tomato sauce that starts with a soffritto of onions, carrots, and celery cooked in a little olive oil, to which garlic, tomatoes and seasonings are added.

Simple and delicious!

The sauce can be dressed up with mushrooms, sausage, olives, wine, and all manner of vegetables. What’s your favorite tomato sauce recipe?

Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 2 1/2 cups of sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot or 1/2 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 small stalk of celery, including the green tops, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, including the juice, or 1 3/4 pound of fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

1 Gently cook the onion, carrot, celery, and parsley: Heat olive oil in a large wide skillet on medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery and parsley. Stir to coat.

Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened and cooked through.

2 Add garlic: Remove cover and add the minced garlic. Increase the heat to medium high. Cook for garlic for 30 seconds.

3 Add tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, salt, pepper, then simmer: Add the tomatoes, including the juice and shredding them with your fingers if you are using canned whole tomatoes. Add the tomato paste and the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to a low simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Optional, purée for smooth sauce: If you want you can push the sauce through a food mill, or purée it in a blender or with an immersion blender, to give it a smooth consistency.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

Basic Tomato Sauce

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

73 Comments / Reviews

No ImageBasic Tomato Sauce

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Debbie

    You said not enough acid to can but another recipe says put some citric acid in the bottom if the jar and I did. Worked great

  2. Dana

    Made this this weekend. It was fantastic. Even my kid who doesn’t love red sauce loved this sauce. Only thing I would say is the volume is low , so I doubled it up to make enough for a lb. of pasta. I did puree it with an immersion blender. And I used fresh roma’s from the garden that I blanched and peeled and seeded.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Charles Sherwood

    Simple and easy with a great taste!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Sue

    Can this be canned? If so water bath or pressure canning??

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Anne

    This sounds great. If I want to make more sauce, can I simply double this recipe or should other adjustments be made?

    Show Replies (1)
View More
Basic Tomato SauceBasic Tomato Sauce