Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


If you like a spicy tomato sauce, add 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes when you add the canned tomatoes. You can also optionally add 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano and 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil to the mix. I’ve kept this version plain though so that you can adapt it however you’d like.


  • 2 (28 oz.) cans whole tomatoes with juices (ideally San Marzano tomatoes)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Sugar (optional)


  1. In a medium sauce pan over high heat add tomatoes, onion, garlic, butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook at a low simmer partially covered for 1 hour.
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree it or transfer it in two batches to a blender.
  4. Taste. If the sauce isn’t sweet enough, add sugar 1 teaspoon at a time, tasting after each addition to see if it has the flavor you’d like. I usually add only 1 teaspoon. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

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