Tomato Sauce

People change. Times change. Feelings change. And though your Italian grandmother would scold me, I have to confess...

My tomato sauce recipe...has changed.

Lucky for me I am still young (Although the impending “3-0” this month makes me feel like I'm 10 steps away from the nursing home.).

But at 30 I’m pretty sure I am still young enough that I can change my “signature” sauce recipe. And hopefully by the time I'm 70 no one will remember how fickle I used to be with my famous “Sunday gravy."

Tomato sauce was one of the first things I ever made, and it was the very first thing my husband and I ever made together.

(The first and the last, there is no room for two cooks in my tiny kitchen. ;) )

We took his brother’s recipe and followed it to a T-- Googling every step, convinced we were doing it wrong.

And many times we really were doing it wrong.

From there I developed my original Tomato Sauce recipe. Now don’t get me wrong--it was a good sauce, it had a real depth of flavor and richness to it…

But as the years went by I found myself craving something…different. Something more tomatoey--something with a fresher, lighter taste.

And so, I will now admit it: I have changed my signature recipe.

And though years ago I claimed that my original recipe produced the “best sauce ever,” I will now formally retract that statement and release a new one! Saying that THIS, THIS RECIPE is the very BEST tomato sauce EVER. This is my signature sauce.

At least for now. ;)


Tomato Sauce

Makes 10 cups of sauce

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped onions

4 garlic cloves, chopped

Five-28 ounce cans San Marzano tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2-4 teaspoons kosher salt

15-20 large basil leaves, chopped

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Sauté Onions and Garlic in the olive oil over medium low heat until tender and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, some of the salt and pepper, and puree mixture with an immersion blender.  Put over medium heat and let come to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for approximately 2 hours until the sauce has almost reduced by half. Add the basil and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 minutes more--until sauce is thick and not watery. Add more salt and pepper if needed. ENJOY!


  • For a low-cal sauce use 2 tablespoons of olive oil instead of 6 tablespoons.
  • This is a simple sauce and good tomatoes really do make all the difference; if possible try to get San Marzano tomatoes--they are hands down the best!
  • Don’t be fooled. Some companies will include “San Marzano” in the name of their tomatoes or on the can but they may not be from the San Marzano region;  you want tomatoes that are from San Marzano.
  • I usually use a yellow onion, not a sweet onion. A white onion would work also.


You might also like these recipes: