Italian-American red pasta sauce that’s perfect for spaghetti, chicken parmesan, eggplant parmesan, and lasagna.
Make this homemade sauce with canned or fresh tomatoes. We typically use canned whole peeled tomatoes, but I have included tips for fresh tomatoes in the article above. When olive oil is used, this pasta sauce is naturally vegan. For a richer sauce, substitute the olive oil with butter.
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (75 grams) finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced, about 2 teaspoons
2 tablespoons (35 grams) tomato paste
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves or 1 to 2 tablespoons dried basil
Dash fish sauce, optional, see tips below
Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onions and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and tomato paste, then cook for a minute.
Pour in canned tomatoes with all their juices, and then use a spoon or potato masher to gently break the tomatoes apart so that the sauce is chunky. Don’t worry too much about the consistency now. You can adjust how smooth the sauce is once it has finished cooking.
Adjust the heat, so the sauce is gently simmering, and then stir in the salt and pepper. You may need more salt, but one teaspoon is a good starting point.
Cook at a low simmer until reduced by one-third, about 40 minutes. As the sauce cooks, taste it occasionally to see whether or not it needs additional seasoning.
Turn off the heat and stir in the dried oregano and fresh basil.
Use the sauce straight away or store it in the refrigerator for up to four days or freeze for three months. We leave our sauce a little chunky, but you can blend the sauce in a stand blender or use an immersion blender.