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a bowl of classic Italian tomato sauce with basil leaves as garnish.

Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce Recipe

Easy Creamy Polenta Recipe Authentic ItalianFresh, flavorful and light taste, a simple authentic recipe for classic Italian tomato sauce (Sugo al Pomodoro). Great for any pasta dish! Add chicken or fresh mozzarella and make it a meal! 

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 1 small onion (yellow or white), chopped or cut into thin slices (depending on preference)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (good quality such as Colavita)
  • 1 28 oz can of good quality whole peeled canned tomatoes (you can also use crushed tomatoes, or passata (tomato puree)
  • 5-6 leaves of fresh basil, whole and washed
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. In a large saucepan or pot, medium heat, add olive oil and sauté onion for about 6 minutes, until translucent.  
  2.  Add canned tomatoes. Cover and let simmer on low-medium heat (the sauce should bubble, but not boil) after 10 minutes of cooking crush the whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon to break them up. You can also use an immersion blender. 
  3. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the liquid reduces slightly. Stir occasionally during cooking. 
  4. Turn off the heat and add the basil to the sauce. Add salt and a bit of pepper to taste. If you notice any bitterness you may add a teaspoon of sugar. If you notice the sauce isn't as thick as you like it add a tablespoon of good quality pure tomato paste. 
  5. Store in the fridge or freezer and use as a sauce for pasta, polenta, gnocchi, and more! 


Storing  Fridge- store prepared tomato sauce in Mason jars or tightly sealed containers in the refrigerator for up to one week.  Freezer - as long as the cooked sauce is sealed in a proper container or in a proper freezer bag it will last several months in the freezer. 

I always have this sauce on hand as we eat it weekly and I use it as a base for several other Italian recipes! 

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: tomato sauce recipe, italian tomato sauce, classic tomato sauce