Easy Basic Tomato Sauce is perfect for pasta, pizza, bread sticks, cheese sticks, or even as a tomato base for chili. What’s great about it is you can serve it as is or add a few more of your favorite spices and veggies. Either way, it’s delicious!
I have been on a huge tomato kick lately. I’ve been craving tomato sandwiches (it’s a thing, y’all), tomatoes at breakfast, and tomato based sauces with whatever meal I’ve had this past week. It’s a good thing tomatoes are in season, right? I was doing my Sunday afternoon meal prep for the week and decided to make an easy basic tomato sauce. Since I didn’t have any fresh tomatoes on hand (see above cravings), I went about searching my pantry. Luckily, I had a couple of cans of stewed tomatoes on hand. If you’re new around here, you’ll find that I will share recipes I’ve developed using ingredients I already have in my pantry rather than making extra trips to the grocery store.
This tomato sauce recipe makes enough that I can use some for a few meals this week and still have enough left over to freeze and use later, maybe even this winter or fall. I portioned the sauce into small 1-cup freezer containers and kept a couple for use this week. The rest went into the freezer. Are you making pasta this week? Try this sauce. Making zucchini noodles? This is your sauce. The sautéed vegetables form a delicious and aromatic base, and the basil and parsley adds a spicy bite while the butter sweetens the sauce without need for adding sugar. Not to mention that you aren’t slaving over a hot stove in these high temperatures; this sauce comes together in no time. Convinced, yet?
Okay, let’s cook up some easy basic tomato sauce…
I started my sauce by heating some extra virgin olive oil over a medium high heat. I know it seems like a lot of oil in the recipe, but I promise the sauce isn’t greasy, and the oil just enhances the flavor of the vegetables. While the oil was heating, I finished chopping my vegetables. I first added my chopped onions and garlic to sauté a couple of minutes, and the scent that floated throughout the kitchen told me I would be enjoying this sauce with dinner tonight – fo sho. Keep an eye on the garlic and stir continuously to keep the garlic from burning. I then added my chopped celery and sautéed for about 5 more minutes until the vegetables were tender.
I then added my tomatoes and tomato paste and seasoned to my taste with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. I opted to add tomato paste because of its richness, which is also the reason I decided to not cut the paste with water. The paste will blend in and the sauce will reduce a little.
I reduced the heat to low and let the sauce come to a simmer. I then added the basil, parsley, and butter while stirring occasionally. I let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes to make sure all the flavors fused together. When it came to adding the parsley, I didn’t want a really strong parsley taste, so I added the leaves from one sprig, but you can add enough to suit your own taste. Also, I will use fresh basil in the future, but I didn’t have any at the time, so I used dried basil instead; it worked just as well.
Now that the sauce had cooked and all flavors had fused together properly, I pulled out my hand blender and used it to puree the tomatoes and other vegetables until the sauce was smooth. I let the sauce cool for about 20 minutes before pouring it into separate containers to freeze. I filled a couple of pint jars to put into the refrigerator to use later in the week. This sauce really is easy and basic and just waiting for you to make it your own. If you give it a go, come back here and leave a comment to let me know your thoughts. Buon appetite, amici!
Easy Basic Tomato Sauce
Yield 5 cups
Easy Basic Tomato Sauce is perfect for pasta, pizza, breadsticks, cheese sticks, or even as a tomato base for chili. What's great about it is you can serve it as is or add a few more of your favorite spices and veggies. Either way, it's delicious!
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cans stewed tomatoes
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- leaves from one parsley stem
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute about 2 minutes being careful not to burn garlic.
- Add celery, salt, and pepper. Saute until vegetables are tender about 5 minutes.
- Add stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, parsley leaves, and butter.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Use a handheld blender to process until smooth. (A blender or food processor can also be used). Serve immediately with dish of choice or freeze for up to 6 months.
Optional: Add spices, herbs, and vegetables of choice to enhance this basic sauce or serve it as it is. Either way, it's delicious and easy.
Serving Size 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 9.8 g
Saturated Fat 3.7 g
Cholesterol 12 mg
Sodium 416 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Sugars 5 g
Protein 1.4 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.