How to Make: Simple Tomato Sauce Recipe

How to Make: Simple Tomato Sauce Recipe

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Hello! I’m so pleased to be back. This wasn’t the post I had intended to share this week as I wanted to get stuck in to sharing the best bits from our recent family holiday to Kefalonia. However, a busy time since we’ve been back plus a head cold this week which has left me feeling a little run down, made me think about the things I rely on to keep our home and family ticking over when I’m not going at my usual pace. It might not seem the obvious answer but this week it was… tomato sauce!

Go-to Tomato Sauce Recipe

On Monday, having spent the day feeling dreadful while simultaneously looking after my little girl (who was too ill to go to preschool but not too ill to have boundless energy for playing!) dinner time rolled around and I groaned a little. We’d been away for the weekend so we weren’t yet stocked up on food and I had neither energy nor the desire to whip up something elaborate. I really wanted simple, healthy comfort food that would require very little effort and please everyone.

Enter: the Simple Tomato Sauce Recipe you need for such eventualities. There is little better than pasta, topped with a rich tomato sauce and a grating of parmesan cheese, preferably alongside a salad lightly dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, when you need quick and comforting meal. What’s even better is this sauce uses tinned tomatoes making it even quicker and cheaper. These are my preferred tinned tomatoes for a rich sauce that isn’t sour or watery.

Yield: Serves 4

Simple Tomato Pasta Sauce

Simple Tomato Pasta Sauce

This simple but delicious tomato pasta sauce is quick to pull together and perfect for a comforting pasta meal. Using mainly storecupboard ingredients, you probably already have everything you need to get cooking!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 x 400g tin good quality whole or chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, marjoram, thyme or basil, chopped (or use 1 tsp dried herbs)
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over a gentle heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the tinned tomatoes, breaking up with a spoon if you are using whole tomatoes.
  3. Simmer the sauce gently for 10 mins, then add the herbs and butter. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking for a further 10 minutes. The beauty of this sauce is that you can leave it simmering for another 10 or 20 minutes to enhance the flavours and further thicken the sauce.
  4. If serving with pasta, loosen the sauce with a little of the pasta cooking water if it becomes too thick.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with any type of pasta and accompanied by a dressed green salad. Feel free to add a liberal helping of freshly grated parmesan too!


To make this sauce vegan, you can omit the butter. I find the butter gives a richer taste to the sauce and means I don't need to use any sugar to sweeten the tinned tomatoes. You may achieve a similar result with dairy-free alternatives but I haven't tried these.

This recipe is easily doubled or tripled to serve a crowd or to freeze some for later.

If you prefer a smoother sauce, After step 4, remove from the heat and blitz to your desired consistency using a stick or hand blender.

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