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  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

How to Make Tomato Sauce from Scratch | Simple Italian Spaghetti Sauce

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

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

  • Salt



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).


Buon appetito!





12 Comments


Johnny Cruz
Johnny Cruz
Aug 07, 2023

Can I use food processor? instead the vegetable mill?

thank you

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Amy Villanueva
Amy Villanueva
Sep 30, 2023
Replying to

No, you can push the tomatoes through using a strainer and serving spoon

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ilcorago
ilcorago
May 06, 2023

Perfect, just as it is. Use the best ingredients and you'll get the best results!



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lunsford.christopher
Sep 02, 2022

I made the sauce, and I was happy with the flavor. I even had a quart left over, so I canned it in a Mason jar for later. I was surprised to find out that when I tried combining it with sausage (labelled as "Italian," but I suspect I've never had the real deal before), the sausage actually clashed with the flavor of the sauce.


I love the sauce, but I don't think I will be trying to put anything in it that doesn't belong there again.

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Louise Hastings
Louise Hastings
Jul 31, 2022

if you use canned here how big of a can do you use in relation to the other ingredients here?

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Amy Villanueva
Amy Villanueva
Sep 30, 2023
Replying to

I used a 28oz can and it worked for me.

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Patrick Hamilton
Patrick Hamilton
May 08, 2022

This entire website is a treasure trove. Thank you so much PastaGrammar and happy Mother's Day!

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