This homemade classic tomato sauce (aka marinara sauce) is the secret to key to elevating your meals! You’ll absolutely be able to taste the difference between using this classic tomato sauce versus jarred sauces in your meals. Nothing outshines a fresh batch of this classic tomato sauce, it’s both flavourful and nutritious.
Classic tomato sauce ingredients
This classic tomato sauce uses just a handful fresh ingredients – tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, and basil – that meld together beautifully for an easy recipe that’s full of flavour and versatile. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Onion & garlic: The aromatic base of this classic tomato sauce, onion and garlic provide depth of flavour.
- Seasoning: Sea salt and cracked black pepper help marry the ingredients together and create a balanced, flavourful sauce.
- Tomato puree: Adds texture and depth of flavour.
- Passata rustica: This creates a smoother sauce, but not completely smooth (if you prefer a silky smooth sauce then use passata fina). I prefer passata to chopped tomatoes because it comes in a glass jar rather than a tin. Although feel free to use tinned chopped tomatoes if you like. You can also use fresh whole tomatoes – just dice them and simmer the sauce for longer to break them down.
- Fresh herbs: Fresh oregano and basil have a subtle yet robust flavour that give a gentle nod to the Italian roots of this recipe.
How to make classic tomato sauce
You can make this classic tomato sauce in just three simple steps:
- Sauté: Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper and cook for 4–5 minutes, or until softened.
- Simmer: Add the tomato puree, passata and oregano and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil (don’t add it earlier as basil’s flavour is most pungent immediately after wilting in the sauce).
- Blend: Use a stick blender to blend to your desired consistency. For a chunky, more rustic sauce, blender for a shorter time; if you prefer a smooth sauce blend for longer or transfer to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
That’s it! A delicious, flavour-packed sauce that can be used in a range of recipes.
How to store classic tomato sauce
This classic tomato sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days or the freezer for up to three months. This is an easy meal prep recipe – you can make a double batch and freeze in appropriate serving sizes to use later. Silicone freezer trays are brilliant for portioning this sauce. When I make a big batch I freeze some in 500ml silicone trays for use in bolognese, some in 250ml trays for tossing with courgette noodles and finally, some in two tablespoon portion sizes for spreading on cauliflower crust Margherita pizza. You can buy a bundle of all three of these silicone tray sizes with an additional 125ml tray, they’re very useful for storing batch-cooked meals and accompaniments.
Ways to use classic tomato sauce
- Use as a base for pizza, like cauliflower crust Margherita pizza
- Toss with courgette noodles
- Make a saucy bolognese.
More tomato-based recipes to try
More sauces to try
I hope you enjoy this classic tomato sauce recipe. If you make it, let me know how it turned out. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below, or post in The Fertility Kitchen Community.
Classic tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 x 680 ml passata rustica
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- Handful each of fresh oregano and basil leaves roughly chopped
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper and cook for 4–5 minutes, or until softened.
- Add the tomato puree, passata and herbs and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- Use a stick blender to blend to your desired consistency. For a chunky, more rustic sauce, blender for a shorter time; if you prefer a smooth sauce blend for longer or transfer to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.