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Classic Homemade Tomato Sauce

Classic Italian tomato sauce

This classic Italian tomato sauce can be used for all kinds of dishes from pasta, gnocchi, pizza  to soup or polenta. It's quite easy to make this sauce and it's full of Italian flavours.

Italian cooks make this sauce with either fresh or canned tomatoes. In this recipe we used combination of canned tomatoes and passata di pomodoro. If desired, pass the sauce through a food mill or chop it in a blender or food processor until in small pieces. 

Our preference is for a more rustic juicy sauce with bits of tomato, so I roughly chop it in a blender or food processor. Only if the fresh tomatoes' peels are tough or bitter do I peel them. This is a matter of personal choice.

Classic Italian tomato sauce

Tips for making classic homemade tomato sauce

  • You can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones during the summertime when tomatoes are at their best. First you need to place tomatoes to a pot of boiling water and allow them to boil for 1 - 2 minutes. Remove the tomatoes carefully and place them on a plate. Allow them to cool then peel the skin away from the tomatoes. Once that's done, you can follow the recipe as listed.

  • If desired, the sauce can be cooled and refrigerated up to 4 days, or frozen up to 3 months.

Classic Italian tomato sauce

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Classic Italian tomato sauce

Classic Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe

SERVES: 500 ml
COOKS IN: 40 minutes


  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 400 g whole peeled tomatoes (pomodori pelati)
  • 200 ml passata di pomodoro
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


  1. In a medium saucepan over a medium heat add olive oil, finely chopped onion and pinch of salt. 

  2. Fry until the onion becomes translucent (for about 5 - 6 minutes) then add chopped tomatoes, passata, sugar and half of basil roughly chopped. 

  3. Lower the heat and simmer the sauce for about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust with additional seasoning as desired. If you like a more concentrated tomato flavor you can continue to simmer the sauce for up to 15 more minutes.

  4. Use the sauce for pasta or other dishes immediately or allow to come to room temperature before placing in the fridge or freezing. Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

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