Simple, Quick Italian Tomato Sauce

Old Mother Hubbard went to her cupboard: Well, she probably didn’t throw together a 20 minute Tomato Sauce, because:

  • She wasn’t Italian
  • The Cupboard was bare
  • She didn’t watch America’s Test Kitchen
Simple, Quick Italian Tomato Sauce

Simple, Quick Italian Tomato Sauce

We’re not huge pasta fans here (always watching those carbs) but even so, we still have a few boxes on hand, and cans of tomatoes, and I generally have at least an onion or two rolling around. In about 20 minutes we can throw together a great tomato sauce. Of course, you’re not limited to using a tomato sauce like this over pasta –

Try it over sauteed peppers and onions, with or without sausage, use it as a pizza sauce, drizzle over Italian style meatloaf or stuffed vegetables. I often cook it just a bit longer to thicken it up more when I’m planning on using this for pizza.

The pricing of making your own opposed to buying in jar is dependent upon a number of factors – full price to full price for home-made compared to a jar makes home-made price pretty cost-effective. Sales prices make things unpredictable. Add in a coupon or two and all bets are off:

  • Quite often with coupons and sales, I “buy” large cans of tomatoes for free, and my buy price is 50 cents.
  • Couponers also report the same for Pasta Sauce.

Other fresh ingredients for home-made aren’t free: the onions and garlic, the small amount of herbs. The taste of home-made, the lack of artificial ingredients and the quick method make a home-made sauce worthwhile for me. The fact that I can tinker with the spices and flavors to suit me is an added bonus.

Quick Tomato Sauce

  • Servings: makes abt 3 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated onion, from 1 medium onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes with juice – pulse in blender or food processor
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves or two teaspoons dried
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Ground black pepper

Heat oil in medium saucepan.  Add onion, oregano, and ½ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar; increase heat to high and bring to simmer.

Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened slightly, about 15 – 20 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and additional oil; season with salt and pepper. Serve.

My note:  Grating the onion makes the recipe go really fast and reduces the need to simmer longer and mellow out the flavor.

from the kitchen of

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read Strategies for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Put your Own Spin on It:

The beauty of making your own sauce is you can play with the ingredients any way you’d like.  Add a little oregano, a few red pepper flakes or your favorite ingredients.


One thought on “Simple, Quick Italian Tomato Sauce

  1. Pingback: Spaghetti with Raw Tomato Sauce « Bringing Europe Home

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