The Best Italian Tomato Sauce – Super Simple Recipe

This homemade Italian Tomato Sauce recipe is super simple, uses just a handful of ingredients, and will make all of your Italian recipes extra special!

two glass jars of Italian tomato sauce with text overlay "super easy italian tomato sauce recipe"

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I love picking up my weekly share of seasonal fruits and veggies from my local CSA or going to the farmer’s market and filling a market bag with homegrown herbs and tomatoes picked that morning.

At the moment, it makes me feel all domestic and like I’m living in an episode of HGTV International. (Seriously, does anyone else watch those shows, especially the ones set in the Mediterranean, and get lost daydreaming about a life filled with cheese and pastry shops, farmer’s markets, and an endless supply of decent local wine?)

But, back to reality, a lot of the food I buy ends up in the trash, and buying food just to throw it away shouldn’t be a hobby.

So, this summer, I made it a goal to connect with my wanna-be living on the Tuscan countryside self by not only purchasing farmer’s market goodies but actually using them to make fresh, good for my family meals.

open jar of homemade tomato sauce in front of a window

So, with the assurance from a friend that I could make batches of tomato sauce without having to learn how to can it, I picked up a giant box of Roma tomatoes from my CSA.

I made a batch of authentic Italian sauce every night for 4 nights in a row and froze what we didn’t eat (which was most of it) in zip lock bags.

Not only is this sauce so easy to make, but it was super rewarding to have my own batch of sauce to “put away” for the winter. The taste is so fresh and beats any processed tomato sauce I’ve ever tasted. When you use good quality ingredients, the fresh taste just shines through.

I’m so excited to be able to pull this sauce out of my freezer and enjoy the taste of summer all winter long.

What You’ll Need to Make Homemade Tomato Sauce

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow or white large onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 16 Roma tomatoes, cut into quarters (no need to peel them)
  • 15-20 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

How to Make Homemade Sauce

fresh tomatoes, diced onions, and basil in a pan with a wooden spoon

In a large pot, heat your olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for around 5 minutes until they start to become soft and translucent. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the garlic and saute for another 30-60 seconds.

Next, add the tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper to the pot.

Turn the burner up to medium-high and allow the ingredients to come to a boil. Once it’s boiling, turn the burner down to medium-low heat, cover the pot with a lid, and allow the sauces to simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the tomato-based sauce from heat and allow it to cool slightly. Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce to your desired level of smoothness. (You could also pour the sauce into a food processor and create your tomato puree that way, but if you have a hand-held immersion blender, it’s much easier to do it in the pot.)

Recipe Notes:

  • You can substitute canned tomatoes for fresh tomatoes if you’d like. You’ll need two 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes are the best option if you can find them.
  • A good trick to cut the acidity of canned tomatoes is to add a peeled, whole carrot to the sauce while it cooks. Just make sure to use a pair of tongs to remove it before you puree the sauce.
  • The secret to a great sauce is using the best quality ingredients you can find. I like to use Roma tomatoes from my local CSA or farmer’s market but you can easily substitute heirloom or plum tomatoes. Just make sure they are the best quality tomatoes possible.
  • If you do not have a food processor or immersion blender and do not mind a chunky sauce, you can use a potato masher to “blend” the sauce. The longer you cook the sauce, the more the Italian tomatoes will naturally fall apart, creating a more naturally smooth sauce.
  • Save your parmesan cheese rind in the freezer and add it to the pot while your fresh tomato sauce is cooking. Be sure to remove and discard the rind before serving.
  • Add other fresh herbs to the sauce while it’s cooking to customize it to your family’s tastes.

How to Store Your Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce

  • You can store the sauce in an airtight container or mason jar in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • This sauce freezes and reheats very well. Simply place enough for a meal in a ziplock bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, and lay flat to freeze.

How to Serve Italian Tomato Sauce Recipe

large bowl of pasta in front of a window with a glass jar of tomato sauce in the background

This red sauce has endless possibilities and is a great starting point for creating easy dinners.

Here are a few for you to try:

  • Cook a batch of your favorite pasta and top with your homemade marinara sauce.
  • It’s perfect in recipes for all kinds of Italian cuisine, including this Chicken Parmesan with Penne and the easiest ever spaghetti and meatballs.
  • Add oregano and use it as a pizza sauce.
  • Add cooked ground beef, a can of tomato paste, and your choice of seasonings for a hearty meat sauce.
two glass jars of homemade tomato sauce in front of a window

More Easy, Fresh Recipes You’ll Love

two glass jars of homemade tomato sauce in front of a window

The Best Italian Tomato Sauce – Super Simple Recipe

Print Recipe
This homemade Italian Tomato Sauce recipe is super simple, uses just a handful of ingredients, and will make all of your Italian recipes extra special!
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow or white large onion roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and roughly chopped
  • 16 Roma tomatoes cut into quarters (no need to peel them)
  • 15-20 fresh basil leaves torn
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • In a large pot, heat your olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for around 5 minutes, until they start to become soft and translucent. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the garlic and saute for another 30-60 seconds.
  • Next, add the tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper to the pot.
  • Turn the burner up to medium-high and allow the ingredients to come to a boil. Once it’s boiling, turn the burner down to medium-low heat, cover the pot with a lid, and allow the sauces to simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the tomato-based sauce from heat and allow it to cool slightly. Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce to your desired level of smoothness. (You could also pour the sauce into a food processor and create your tomato puree that way, but if you have a hand-held immersion blender, it’s much easier to do it in the pot.)

Notes

  • You can substitute canned tomatoes for fresh tomatoes if you’d like. You’ll need two 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes are the best option if you can find them.
  • A good trick to cut the acidity of canned tomatoes is to add a peeled, whole carrot to the sauce while it cooks. Just make sure to use a pair of tongs to remove it before you puree the sauce.
  • The secret to a great sauce is using the best quality ingredients you can find. I like to use Roma tomatoes from my local CSA or farmer’s market, but you can easily substitute heirloom or plum tomatoes. Just make sure they are the best quality tomatoes possible.
  • If you do not have a food processor or immersion blender and do not mind a chunky sauce, you can use a potato masher to “blend” the sauce. The longer you cook the sauce, the more the Italian tomatoes will naturally fall apart, creating a more naturally smooth sauce.
  • Save your parmesan cheese rind in the freezer and add it to the pot while your fresh tomato sauce is cooking. Be sure to remove and discard the rind before serving.
  • Add other fresh herbs to the sauce while it’s cooking to customize it to your family’s tastes.
Servings: 6 cups

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