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Want a recipe for easy homemade tomato sauce for pasta? In this blog post, we have a full recipe guide to make a huge pot of all-purpose marinara sauce with very little effort, so read on!Jump to Recipe
One of my first ever batch preps when I started living on a serious budget was marinara sauce. I made a pot of tomatoey goodness to cling to pasta, thicken soups, lather on some chewy pizza dough. I froze a ton of portions and got to work, trying out different recipes, from oven bakes to chilli, with my versatile sauce.
Three years later, I’ve tweaked my recipe a lot, and I think the recipe in this blog post in unbeatable. The sauce is tangy, sweet, herby, wholesome and delicious, all at once. And best of all, it costs very little to knock up a huge batch.
How To Make Really Good Pasta Sauce
The secret to a good homemade tomato sauce is really good tomatoes. While paying off my debt, I tried lots of cheap brands of tomatoes, hoping to strike gold with a supermarket basic brand that rivals the expensive stuff. And while I’m happy to use cheaper tinned tomatoes for recipes where tomato isn’t the star ingredient (for example, this yummy lasagne), a homemade tomato sauce needs to have tomatoes that shine.
That’s why in this recipe, I’m calling for really, really good tomatoes. In this case, I’ve opted for Cirio tomatoes. I first tried these as part of a Shopmium promotion (if you’ve never heard of Shopmium, it’s an app that pays cashback for groceries, making them free or heavily discounted- download it here if you like getting a bargain! Using my refer-a-friend link will get you a free gift, and I get credit, so thank you if you do). However, there are plenty of promotions in supermarkets on Napolina-brand tomatoes, which are great, too!
Anyways, back to Cirio tomatoes. Switching out my supermarket brand tomatoes for Cirio ones in the sauce made all the difference. They transform the sauce into an ingredient that pioneers a meal, rather than using other flavours to give the sauce something special. And, when you are cooking the sauce, or heating it up in the oven in a pasta bake, the whole kitchen smells like a cosy pizzeria. Speaking of which, this sauce is great on pizza. Exhibit A:
Once the sauce is cooked, I like to use a handheld blender to get a smooth, even texture. Then it’s ready to ladle over a bowl of fresh pasta. Or baked in an aubergine parm. Here’s one I made earlier:
I can’t stress enough that this sauce is so good!
So if you are looking for an easy homemade tomato sauce for pasta, a cheap bowl of comfort, a healthy dinner or a meatless meal idea, this recipe delivers!
Let’s get started.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Tomato Sauce Recipe Cost
Cost to Make Full Recipe: £9.52
Cost Per Portion: £0.80
8 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
2 brown onions, sliced (use your food processor’s slice function, for a pain and tear-free onion slicing hack!)
1.5 bulbs of garlic, minced
2 chicken stock cubes, made up according to packet instructions
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
Salt and pepper, to season
Sweat the diced onion in 1 tbsp of oil on a medium heat, until soft.
Add in the garlic, stir the mixture and allow to cook for one minute.
Then add the tinned tomatoes, herbs and chicken stock, and allow to simmer for 45 minutes.
Once the liquid in the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and whisk in some sugar, salt and pepper to season.
If you like your tomato sauce chunky, you can serve as is. I prefer to puree mine with a handheld blender (a Nutri-Bullet or smoothie maker would work well with batches of sauce, too).
This sauce is extremely versatile and you can add it to lasagne, tomato stews, soups, bolognese etc. But in my opinion, it’s best served slathered on top of freshly cooked pasta, with baked mozzarella and some hot garlic bread on the side.
Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce for Pasta
- 8 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
- 2 brown onions sliced
- 1.5 bulbs garlic minced
- 2 chicken stock cubes made up according to packet instructions
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp dried basil
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp oil
- salt and pepper to season
- Sweat the diced onion in 1 tbsp of oil on a medium heat, until soft.
- Add in the garlic, stir the mixture and allow to cook for one minute.
- Then add the tinned tomatoes, herbs and chicken stock, and allow to simmer for 45 minutes.
- Once the liquid in the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and whisk in some sugar, salt and pepper to season.
- Blend the sauce into a smooth puree, or leave chunky if you prefer.
Looking for more easy pasta recipes? Check out this Tomato and Mascapone pasta recipe from RecipeForHome.com.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe for easy homemade tomato sauce for pasta. Let me know in the comments how yours turn out, of how you plan to serve it when you try it for yourself.