top of page
  • Pasta Grammar

How to Make Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce | Simple & Easy Recipe

Updated: 5 days ago

A basic tomato sauce, whether it’s meant for a plate of spaghetti or an eggplant parmigiana, should be very simple. High quality tomatoes don’t require a ton of added ingredients to be incredibly delicious. Skip the onion and carrot, and try this recipe using nothing more than tomatoes, olive oil, salt, basil, and a little bit of garlic. You’ll be amazed at how yummy it is!

Simple Italian Tomato Sauce Recipe | Quick, Easy & Delicious

What Kind of Tomatoes Are Best for Tomato Sauce?

You can certainly make this sauce using fresh tomatoes. If you would like to try, check out our blog post all about the process.

The sad truth, however, is that most of us (at least in North America) don’t have access to tomatoes that come even close to imported, canned tomatoes. That’s why, unless you’re very lucky and have some amazing in-season produce, we recommend using canned whole peeled tomatoes.

While San Marzano tomatoes are fantastic, you don’t need to splurge on them in order to make a great sauce. What’s important is to look for pure tomatoes. Don’t buy anything with any other added ingredients. No salt, no garlic, no basil, no citric acid. Just tomatoes. We’re making the sauce, today!

You can also use cherry tomatoes for an extra-flavorful sauce! Check out the Pasta Grammar video where we tested this hack here:

Printer Friendly Version
Download PDF • 28KB


Yield: About 3 cups

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 28 oz. (800g) canned whole peeled tomatoes

  • 1 whole garlic clove, peeled

  • 3-4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • Fresh basil, about 3-4 leaves

  • Salt to taste

  • Pot or saucepan

  • Fork

Add the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and basil into a pot or saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and lightly salt the sauce (but be careful here, the sauce will thicken and you can always add more later).

After a few minutes of cooking, the whole tomatoes will have softened enough that you can break them up into a pulp with a fork. Let the sauce simmer, partially covered, for 25-30 minutes or until it thickens to your taste. If necessary, you can always add some water to thin the sauce and cook it longer.

Remove the garlic clove and salt the sauce again to taste before turning off the heat. Once cool, the tomato sauce can be stored in an airtight refrigerated container for about a week, or can be frozen for longer periods.

Buon appetito!

bottom of page