Homemade Italian tomato sauce is a versatile and delicious base for a wide variety of dishes, including pasta, lasagna, pizza, and more. Here’s a basic recipe for homemade Italian tomato sauce:
- 28 ounces (about 800g) of canned whole tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar (to balance the acidity of the tomatoes)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Fresh basil leaves (optional)
- Red pepper flakes (optional, for some heat)
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onions and cook them until they become translucent and start to soften, usually about 5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic to the onions and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until it becomes fragrant. Be careful not to brown or burn the garlic, as it can become bitter.
- Pour in the canned tomatoes. If you’re using whole tomatoes, you can crush them with a wooden spoon or potato masher to break them up into smaller pieces.
- Add the dried oregano and basil to the tomato mixture. You can also add red pepper flakes at this point if you want a bit of heat.
- Stir in the sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. The sugar helps to reduce the bitterness.
- Season the sauce with salt and black pepper to taste. Start with a pinch of salt, and then adjust it as needed while the sauce simmers.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and let the sauce simmer for at least 30 minutes, or even longer if you have the time. The longer it simmers, the richer the flavor will become.
- If you like, you can add fresh basil leaves during the last 5-10 minutes of simmering for extra flavor. Just remove them before serving.
- Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed. You might need to add more salt, pepper, or herbs to achieve the flavor you desire.
- Once your sauce is ready, you can use it immediately, or let it cool and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days. It also freezes well for longer storage.
This homemade Italian tomato sauce is a delicious and versatile base for many Italian dishes. You can use it as a pasta sauce, as a pizza sauce, or as a base for dishes like lasagna and eggplant parmesan. Enjoy!