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Classic Italian Tomato Sauce

This simple tomato sauce can be used for all kinds of dishes from pasta and pizza to soup or polenta. Italian cooks make this sauce with both fresh or canned tomatoes. If desired, pass the sauce through a food mill or chop it in a blender or food processor until in small pieces. If desired, the sauce can be cooled and refrigerated up to 4 days, or froze up to 6 months.

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.

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Classic Italian Tomato Sauce


  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 400 ml of peeled tomato (pomodori pelati)
  • 100 ml tomato purée
  • sugar


  1. In a saucepan over a medium heat add oil and onion and a pinch of salt. 

  2. Fry until the onion becomes translucent, add chopped tomatoes, tomato purée and half of basil roughly chopped. Lower the heat and simmer the sauce for about 30 minutes. 

  3. Add some sugar if the sauce is to acid and season with pepper. 

  4. Cook the pasta in boiling water until tender yet firm to the bite. Drain and toss with tomato sauce, add grate cheese and the rest of basil.

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