Condiments and Sauces/ Dinner/ European/ Pasta/ Recipes

Fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce

05/06/2020 (Last Updated: 20/08/2020)

Whip up a batch of fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce from scratch. It’s easier than you might think, with only 15 minutes prep time. Serve over pasta as-is, or use as a base for other sauces, toppings or even slathered over your next homemade pizza.

Bowl of tomato pasta sauce with spoon and herbs in background.

Why We Love This

When you get given a box of tomatoes, why not make your own batch of pasta sauce? There’s something so rewarding about using your homemade sauce in anything from pasta, pizza or even a tasty Greek Moussaka.

As it makes quite a big batch, the ability to keep the sauce ready to go in the fridge, or frozen in the freezer, means you can create an extra delicious dinner without the effort.

Bottle of homemade pasta sauce with sprig of parsley.

What is Tomato Pasta Sauce? 

This tomato sauce is made up of fresh tomatoes with garlic, onion, bay leaves and spices that are simmered down until you reduce the pot of tomato goodness into glorious saucy heaven. Once the sauce has reduced you’re pretty well set for some pasta awesomeness like our Smoky Beef & Bacon Bolognese.

This pasta sauce recipe was inspired by our Italian Mama in Naples, Italy. The one who taught us the traditional recipe for Napoli style pizza dough. Oh Rita, how we miss you!

If you’re not feeling like pasta for dinner, this delicious sauce also magically transforms into homemade pizza sauce for recipes such as Italian Fried Pizza.

What You’ll Need

Grab that box of tomatoes and get ready to cook! Simple base ingredients for this dish with a few added spices. We like spicy around here, so the hot paprika came out for our version. Feel free to throw in or throw out depending on how you like it!

If you prefer not to cook with wine, you can substitute with red or white wine vinegar, cranberry juice or a bit of chicken stock in a pinch.

Ingredients laid out for tomato pasta sauce ready to cook.

How to make Recipe:

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add tomatoes and ensure they are covered by the water. Quickly bring back to the boil, then remove from heat and drain.

Boiling the tomatoes in water.

Allow tomatoes to cool so you can handle them. Peel the skin and dice into small pieces. Discard stems and set aside.

Peeling off the tomato skins ready for the pasta sauce.

Heat the oil in the same large pot. Add garlic and brown onion and saute until translucent.

Sauteeing the onions and garlic in oil.

Add the tomatoes, red wine, bay leaves, basil, hot paprika, smoked paprika and mace. Stir well and bring to the boil once more, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for around 2 hours until sauce has thickened and reduced. Remove from the heat.

Simmering down the tomato pasta sauce over the stove.

Carefully transfer sauce into airtight containers.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Wear an apron while chopping the boiled tomato, as this step can get a little messy!
  • The riper the tomato, the better it is flavour-wise for this dish.
  • For best flavour, do not serve on the same day. Store in refrigerator for a day or two to allow the flavours to fully develop.

FAQs

What are the best tomatoes to use for tomato pasta sauce?

Roma tomatoes are the most popular, as they can pack quite a lot of flavour than other varieties. Otherwise, use any fresh tomatoes you can source. You can even use cherry tomatoes, which would yield a sweeter sauce.

What are the best herbs to pop in your homemade pasta sauce?

Basil and oregano pair nicely cooked in with the tomatoes. You can also garnish with fresh parsley or basil.

What’s the best way to store your tomato pasta sauce?

Your fresh sauce should be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for around a week or in the freezer for up to a month.

Variations & Substitutes

  • You can omit the paprika and mace and use more traditional spices here such as nutmeg and cinnamon.
  • You can leave the sauce chunky, or blend it for a nice smooth passata style sauce.
Bowl of tomato pasta sauce with parsley in background.

Want more Italian ideas? These are some of our favourites:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

Fresh homemade tomato sauce in a bowl with a serving spoon.

Fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce

Whip up a batch of fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce from scratch. It's easier than you might think, with only 15 minutes prep time. Serve over pasta as-is, or use as a base for other sauces, toppings or even slathered over your next homemade pizza.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Course: Condiment, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 1 Kg of Sauce
Calories: 969kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $10

Ingredients

  • 1 kg tomatoes ripe, washed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 8-10 cloves garlic finely diced
  • 1 onion finely ficed
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp mace

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add tomatoes and ensure they are covered by the water. Quickly bring back to the boil, then remove from heat and drain.
  • Allow tomatoes to cool so you can handle them. Peel the skin and dice into small pieces. Discard stems and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in the same large pot. Add garlic and brown onion and saute until translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes, red wine, bay leaves, basil, hot paprika, smoked paprika and mace. Stir well and bring to the boil once more, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for around 2 hours until sauce has thickened and reduced. Remove from the heat.
  • Carefully transfer sauce into airtight containers. For bests flavour, do not serve on the same day. Store in refrigerator for a day or two to allow the flavours to fully develop.

Video

Notes

Wandercook’s Tips
  • Wear an apron while chopping the boiled tomato, as this step can get a little messy!
  • The riper the tomato, the better it is flavour-wise for this dish.
  • For best flavour, do not serve on the same day. Store in refrigerator for a day or two to allow the flavours to fully develop.
FAQs
  • What are the best tomatoes to use for tomato pasta sauce? Roma tomatoes are the most popular, as they can pack quite a lot of flavour than other varieties. Otherwise, use any fresh tomatoes you can source. You can even use cherry tomatoes, which would yield a sweeter sauce.
  • What are the best herbs to pop in your homemade pasta sauce? Basil and oregano pair nicely cooked in with the tomatoes. You can also garnish with fresh parsley or basil.
  • What’s the best way to store your tomato pasta sauce? Your fresh sauce should be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for around a week or in the freezer for up to a month.
Variations & Substitutes
  • You can omit the paprika and mace and use more traditional spices here such as nutmeg and cinnamon.
  • You can leave the sauce chunky, or blend it for a nice smooth passata style sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 969kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 75g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 2801mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 10448IU | Vitamin C: 153mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 5mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce

12 Comments

  • Reply
    Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    18/04/2016 at 10:38 pm

    Pasta sauce from scratch is awesome…especially during market season when those tomatoes are so nice and fresh.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      19/04/2016 at 12:42 pm

      They’re irresistible aren’t they! Gotta love markets and fresh, seasonal produce.

  • Reply
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
    18/04/2016 at 8:34 pm

    5 stars
    You can’t beat homemade tomato sauce. It makes the kitchen smell amazing too!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      18/04/2016 at 10:12 pm

      Yes! Totally. A good perfume for a Sunday afternoon 😛

  • Reply
    Sarah
    18/04/2016 at 8:03 pm

    There is seriously nothing better than fresh tomato sauce…thanks so much for this recipe!! Day. Made.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      18/04/2016 at 8:23 pm

      No worries Sarah. Hope you have a ball in the kitchen when you give it a go! Do it on a Sunday afternoon when you have a bit of time, so therapeutic haha

  • Reply
    Razena | Tantalisemytastebuds.com
    18/04/2016 at 6:32 pm

    5 stars
    I love fresh ripe tomatoes in pasta sauce as it doesn’t have that tinny flavor of canned tomatoes. This looks very lush and I can imagine using it for a nice warming pasta dish with lamb.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      18/04/2016 at 8:21 pm

      Wow, pairing that with lamb would be delicious! Thanks for the great idea Razena!

  • Reply
    Just Jo
    18/04/2016 at 5:23 pm

    Oh my look at the colour of that sauce – utterly beautiful 😀

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      18/04/2016 at 8:21 pm

      Thanks Jo, it does have such a rich colour to it. Nothing beats homemade!

  • Reply
    Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
    14/04/2016 at 8:27 pm

    When it comes to tomato based food I’m a magnet — yep I HAVE to wear an apron and even then I’m not immune from having red spots on my person. Your sauce sounds delicious. I think I’ll start purchasing red aprons — I have two already 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      15/04/2016 at 6:02 pm

      Thanks Marisa! And haha I hear you about the aprons, normally I’m a magnet for EVERYTHING when it comes to cooking, but for this batch I managed not to spill a drop (on me that is, the kitchen bench, tea towels, and floor on the other hand weren’t so lucky!). 😛

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