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Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce

An easy Italian tomato sauce made from scratch with just 5 ingredients in only 10 minutes! This tomato sauce is perfect for pasta, pizza or simply for dunking some char-grilled ciabatta into.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 servings*
Calories: 51kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • 14 oz (400g) chopped/crushed canned tomatoes (I used Cirio for best results)
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 small handful fresh Parsley chopped
  • 1 small handful fresh basil chopped
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon high quality balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • salt


  • A around 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a medium sized saucepan, once it starts to sizzle add chopped garlic and dried oregano. Fry for 30 seconds then add 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and freshly chopped parsley and basil.
  • Fry the herbs and garlic for another 30 seconds (this helps release all the delicious flavours from the herbs) then add a can of chopped tomatoes and add a pinch of salt.
  • Add 2 tablespoon of water to the empty tomato can, swirl to get as much leftover tomato as possible and add that to the sauce.
  • Stir everything together, after 1 minute use a potato masher to crush the tomatoes and break them down as much as possible (it will still be a rustic style sauce and not completely smooth) 
  • Simmer for 7-8 minutes stirring occasionally, turn off the heat and check for seasoning.



  • *Makes enough to serve 4 with pasta (with an added splash of pasta water) or as a base for two large pizzas (serves 4-6).
  • Tomatoes - You can't make the best Italian tomato sauce with rubbish tomatoes, right? I use crushed canned tomatoes for this quick 10 minute recipe and the only tomatoes I recommend that are easy to find almost anywhere are Cirio. I used their crushed canned tomatoes and all you need is ONE can.
  • Why? - Not only are Cirio canned tomatoes great quality but the cans aren't full of water like many cheap cans...that just ain't gonna add flavour to your sauce at all! And have you ever tasted that metallic, tinny taste with canned tomatoes..yuck! You don't get that with Cirio tomatoes so they are so worth the extra pennies.
  • Balsamic Vinegar - I add the tiniest splash of high quality balsamic and it totally transforms this sauce. Real balsamic vinegar is so sweet and delicious you could eat it by the spoon. It should come in a small bottle (the size of a perfume bottle) and be slightly thick. It should say "Aceto Balsamico di Modena" on the bottle so you know it's the real stuff. A little goes a long way and it's so worth the investment...I couldn't live without it if I'm honest.
  • Extra Tips

    • If making this sauce for pasta reserve a little pasta cooking water and add a splash of two to the sauce just before you add the pasta. This helps emulsify the sauce and adds a ton of extra flavour.
    • When you've finished cooking the sauce check for seasoning and if it need more salt add some a little at a time. Remember you can always add salt but can't take it out.
    • Use this as a base for many tomato based sauces, you could add different herbs and spices such as fennel seeds, pepperoncino (chili flakes), fresh chilly and rosemary.


Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 143mg | Potassium: 186mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 230IU | Vitamin C: 10.7mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1.1mg