How to Make Tomato Sauce from Scratch | Simple Italian Spaghetti Sauce
Updated: Jan 23
This sauce is simple yet powerful. It is one of the basic building blocks of Italian cuisine. You can use it alone as a pasta sauce, or incorporate it into more complex dishes such as a Parmigiana di Melanzane.
Here we show how to make it using fresh tomatoes but, if you don't have excellent produce, we actually recommend using canned whole peeled tomatoes (make sure they don't have any added ingredients, just tomatoes!). If you do use canned, when you cook the sauce simply add some water (about half the volume of tomatoes) to approximate the moisture of fresh tomatoes.
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
For this recipe, you will need:
10-12 ripe Roma tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3-4 leaves fresh basil
Using your hands, smash each tomato into a medium pot. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop and cook, covered, until the tomatoes have softened: about 10-15 minutes.
Working in batches, ladle the tomatoes into a vegetable mill and grind with a medium-coarse filter plate into a large saucepan. At this point, you can simply save what you have as a passata, or continue on to make a finished sauce.
Add the garlic clove, olive oil, basil and a generous pinch of salt.
Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the sauce has thickened to your liking (about 20-30 minutes, depending on how juicy the tomatoes are).