Basic Tomato Sauce for Pasta

tomato sauce for pasta


  • 1 pound fresh pasta of choice
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (28) oz can of ground peeled tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water (use pasta cooking water if possible)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, torn in half
  • Pinch of dry oregano
  • Salt

How to Make It

  1. Heat olive oil in sauce pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the onion and the garlic cloves; stir continuously until the onion has become transparent.
  3. Add ground peeled tomato and water; let simmer for 20-30 min. until the sauce is thickened.
  4. Remove garlic; stir in basil. Add salt to taste and a pinch of dry oregano.
  5. Prepare pasta according to instructions and add to sauce; stir over high heat until pasta and sauce are well incorporated.

Servings: 4

A basic tomato sauce is a perfect vehicle to maximize variety on a menu while keeping labor and food costs minimal – one batch of sauce can become two, three, five different menu items with just a few mix-ins. See our suggestions below!

Make your red sauce work 5x as hard – add:

  • Anchovies, capers, and olives for a Puttanesca Sauce
  • Bacon, onion, and Romano cheese for all’ Amatriciana Sauce
  • Crushed red pepper flakes for Arrabbiatta Sauce
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream and grated cheese for a Pink Sauce