Basic Tomato Sauce for Pasta

Michelle Sebastian


This sauce is easy and can be dressed up or down with seasoning to suit any dish or taste - play with it and discover your inner Italian!

pinch tips: How to Peel Tomatoes



10 Min


30 Min


Stove Top


28 oz
italian style plum tomatoes
6 oz
tomato paste
white onions, chopped
4 clove
garlic, minced
crushed red pepper flakes
olive oil
red wine
a pinch of sugar

Directions Step-By-Step

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large pan. Add garlic and brown. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes and break them up as they cook to create a sauce, leaving the tomatoes as chunky as you like, about 5 minutes.
When the garlic, onions and tomatoes are at a bubbling boil, stir in tomato paste until smooth. Add about 1/2 cup of red wine (or as little or much to your taste) and a pinch of sugar (to cut the tomato acidity), about 5 minutes.
Finally, for serving with meatballs (or whenever you want a sauce to stand out), add crushed red pepper flakes - a little goes a long way, so no more than 2 teaspoons unless (like me!) you like "heat" - then play around until you get the taste to your liking. Simmer about 10 minutes.

This recipe takes doing a couple of times to work out your personal preference for spices. I like a lot of garlic and a good amount of heat, so I use more garlic than listed and nearly a tablespoon of peppers - I like my sauce to stand up to my meatballs!

For a "plain" sauce for pasta, I tone down the heat and add oregano or basil. This is a good "basic" sauce that you can play and change to suit the meal.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Other Sauces
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: Italian
Dietary Needs: Vegetarian
Other Tags: Quick & Easy, Healthy