A saucy evening: Quick Tomato Sauce Recipe

Lazy Italian Dinner: Fried Dough, sauce & Almesan

I am addicted to cookbooks. I love trying new recipes and write in the margins any changes I make. I even have my own rating system. But I don’t follow other people’s recipes for sauce since I am Italian.  I can’t share my grandma’s secret recipe, but I have developed my own favorite which is quick and easy and tastes better than anything in a jar.  And it’s mucho cheaper than jarred sauces and you can choose whether or not you want high fructose corn syrup in it or not.  I like to make sauce when tomatoes are ripe, but since that limits me to one week out of the year in Oregon, I settle for canned tomatoes which doesn’t feel like settling at all in my eyes. Canned tomatoes are far superior than any winter supermarket greenhouse gassed globe that is called a tomato. The nice thing about canned tomatoes is that they are harvested and processed when they are at their peak so your sauce will have flavor and not taste like crap.

I have the recipe below but please remember that it does change depending on what I have in my fridge and how much time I have. I prefer to simmer my sauce 30 minutes but if my stomach is rumbling 15 will do the job, which is usually when the pasta is done cooking. I like my flavors to be simple: garlic, oregano and parsely. But feel free to experiment and add marjoram, onions, mushrooms, kale…you get the picture. I tend to add only enough juice from the can to make it the consistency that I like. I hate watery sauce and you should too. I have no idea how much salt I use, probably more than you want to know. I would go easy and keep tasting the sauce until the flavor pops out. I wish I could be more helpful with the salting but I can’t. Ask your grandma to taste your sauce and she’ll know if it needs more salt. Some people add some red wine vinegar to their sauce but I think tomatoes are acidic enough and do without that step.

Finished tomato sauce

Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce

Yield: 1 quart of sauce (enough for 4 pasta servings or a lot of pizza)


  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-8 cloves garlic, minced (I like garlic)
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 – 28 oz cans plum/Roma tomatoes (the Muir Glen Fire Roasted are awesome)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • sea salt to taste
  • (optional) a handful chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • (optional) a handful chopped fresh basil leaves


  1. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat.
  2. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 30 seconds or until the garlic starts to become golden.
  3. Add tomatoes, (if whole, crush with your hands) and oregano and stir.
  4. Lower heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add parsley and basil and simmer for 5 minutes more.
  6. Place 1/3 to ½ of the sauce (depending on your own personal desires) in a blender and puree. Return pureed sauce to saute pan and stir to combine.
  7. Cool sauce and store in an airtight container for up to a week or 3 months in the freezer.

4 Responses to “A saucy evening: Quick Tomato Sauce Recipe”

  1. Becca Says:

    I was just thinking about making sauce today! Then I caved and bought a jar, which I regretted after tasting it on the pizza. Uncomfortably spicy :(
    I will give your recipe a go.

  2. Stephanie Says:

    Ooh…thanks for telling me what I’m making for dinner :-)

  3. Patrick Glaser Says:


    I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 14 and have relied mostly on processed junk to get me through. I have to change that! I started for ethical reasons, but as I get older, I’m more conscious of my health. I should try some of your recipes.

    Anyways, I thought of coming to check out your blog when I was randomly trying people’s names in facebook and no profile for you came up. I miss you and I’m sure many people from CT do too! You should join FB so that you’re easier to keep in touch with.

    Hope you’re doing well!


  4. Jamison Donalson Says:

    Wonderful Job on the Site!

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