Simple Quick Italian Tomato Sauce

Simple Quick Italian Tomato Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated onion, from 1 medium onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus additional to taste, if desired, when finished)
  • 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 to taste


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.


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

If you don’t have fresh herbs, use a quarter of the amount of dried herbs or substitute about a teaspoon of Italian Seasoning. Add dried herbs in at the beginning of the cooking process.

Keywords: canned tomatoes, Cook's Illustrated, Freezes Well, Italian, Marina, Pasta, Tomato sauce, Tomatoes, Vegetarian Meal

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