Basic Tomato 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.

Basic Tomato Sauce
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

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 5 to 6 servings

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 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

  • 1 (28 ounce) 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.

    basic-tomato-sauce-method-1
    Elise Bauer
  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.

    basic-tomato-sauce-method-2
    Elise Bauer
Basic Tomato Sauce
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
73 Calories
5g Fat
7g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 73
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 217mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 20mg 99%
Calcium 58mg 4%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 340mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.