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

The Best Italian Tomato Sauce - Super Simple Recipe

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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 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes


  • 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


  • 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.)


  • 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