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+ servings

Basic Tomato Sauce

Tips and recipe for making the best marinara sauce in under half and hour.
Course Basics, Condiments & Pickles
Cuisine Best, Italian
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Pasta, Vegetable
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Pescatarian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 cup


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 155 grams onion (~1 large onion, finely diced)
  • 15 grams garlic (~2 large cloves, finely minced)
  • 800 grams whole stewed tomatoes (~1 large can)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6.7 grams salt (~1 teaspoon)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 15 grams basil (~15 large leaves roughly chopped)


  • Put the olive oil, onions and garlic in a pan and saute over medium high heat while stirring constantly until the onions are a medium brown and have reduced to about half their original volume (about 5-7 minutes).
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, salt and pepper. Turn down the heat to medium low. Simmer for 10-20 minutes or until the sauce has the consistency you're looking for.
  • Taste the sauce. If it tastes a little bland and lacking in umami, try adding more salt. If you find the sauce is tasting too sour, try adding up to two teaspoons of sugar.


How long you need to simmer the tomato sauce will depend on your personal preference as well as what you plan to use it for. If you're using this in something that will be cooked again, like an eggplant parmesan, you don't need to get it that thick. If you're using this as a pasta or dipping sauce, you may want to get it a little thicker.