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5 from 1 vote

Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce

Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce -An authentic Italian pasta sauce recipe made totally from scratch! This tomato sauce is so easy and is done with just a few simple steps. All you need are some fresh or canned tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: gluten-free, Italian food, tomato sauce, vegan
Servings: 4
Author: Lora


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 can 28 ounces whole peeled San Marzano DOC tomatoes
  • 1-2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Italian parsley chopped (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)
  • To Serve:
  • ¾ lb to 1 lb of cooked pasta of your choice I used penne


  • Heat oil: In a large saute' pan or medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high until it's shimmering.
  • Add some garlic: Add garlic and cook until fragrant (no more than a minute, or it will brown).
  • Tomatoes: Add in the tomatoes and the juice(I break up the tomatoes with my hands, removing the hard end before adding to the sauce).
  • Bring to a boil: Bring the sauce to a boil and use a wooden spoon to stir, breaking up the tomatoes while they’re cooking.
  • Lower heat: Once the sauce comes to a boil for a few minutes, lower heat to a simmer.
  • Season sauce: Season with the salt, and let the sauce cook and thicken.
  • Check the consistency of sauce: If it’s getting too thick, add a little bit of water (start with a ¼ cup).
  • Add fresh basil: Finally, stir in the fresh basil and stir to combine (and parsley, if you’re using).
  • Simmer sauce: Let sauce simmer for 20 minutes total. Check the salt and add more if needed. Add hot pepper flakes, if you like it spicy.
  • To serve: Cook the pasta to the directions on the box and strain it just before al dente, reserving some of the pasta cooking water.
  • If the sauce seems too thick, add some of the pasta water.
  • Add cooked pasta to sauce: Add the pasta to the sauce and turn heat back up to medium-medium-high. Let it cook together for a minute with the sauce to combine.
  • Serve the pasta: Add in some more chopped fresh basil for serving. Plate up the pasta and ENJOY!


Pasta: I serve this with penne or spaghetti. Whatever pasta shape you like, this sauce is versatile!
Flavor: Tomato flavor will vary depending on the brand you buy. The San Marzano DOC should be naturally sweet. If you use another type of tomato, the sauce may taste acidic, and if so, add a pinch of sugar to take away the acidity.
Thick or thin sauce: If you like the sauce thick, leave it chunky. Once it has cooked, you could make it totally smooth and blend it with an emulsifier or in a blender (just be careful if blending it while hot to let the steam come out by leaving lid open a little. I use a towel to protect from hot splatters).
Herbs + Spice: Fresh basil is amazing in the sauce. Italian parsley is also really nice.  If you have fresh thyme on hand, use it!  Use whatever herbs you enjoy, but fresh basil is really all you need. Like it hot? Add some hot pepper flakes!
Storage: Once sauce has cooled down, stir it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You could make the sauce ahead of time and enjoy during the week.
Freezer Instructions: Double or triple the recipe. This sauce freezes nicely. Let it cool completely, then transfer to airtight freezer safe container (or a large zipped lock freezer bag). Don’t forget to date the bag (or container)and store for up to 6 weeks (could do fine even up to 2 months). When ready to enjoy, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat in pan when ready to enjoy.