How to make tomato pasta sauce

It has seriously been such dull drizzly weather for the past few weeks and I was really craving some fresh tomato sauce on Friday, so I decided to make it. This recipe is really easy to make and takes about 30-40 minutes in total including preparation. I have used tinned tomatoes as that was all we had in the kitchen, if you want it to be really fresh you can easily use the same weight in fresh tomatoes.

Fresh Tomato Sauce, serves 6-8 

Preparation time : 30-40 minutes

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– 2-3 small cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

– 1 piece of ginger (about the size of your thumb), peeled and finely grated

– 2 medium sized onions (or a handful of shallots – I used a mixture as we were running low on onions), peeled and roughly chopped

– 2 x 400g tinned tomatoes

– 200g tomato passata

(Alternatively you may use the the same weight in fresh tomatoes, to prepare – put in boiling water for 10-15 seconds and carefully peel off the skin, chop roughly and use a blender to purée them so that half the mixture is smooth and the other half still has some tomato chunks in)

– 2 large handfuls of fresh basil

– 2 tsp of dried oregano

– salt and freshly milled pepper, to season

– a pinch of sugar

First ‘peel’ the ginger with a small sharp knife and grate finely. You can see in the photos the size of the piece that I used, it doesn’t have to be totally precise so just use what you feel is right and suits your taste.


Next prepare the garlic and onions. A good tip for peeling garlic is to use the flat side of a wide knife to crush it slightly, the skin peels off much easier this way. Chop as finely as possible. Do the same to the onions. It doesn’t really matter what type they are (I used a red onion and a shallot as that was all we had).

Heat a large pan and add the olive oil when hot. Next stir in the onions. After a few minutes, add the garlic and ginger. Let the onions soften but keep stirring to avoid burning. This should take about 5-8 minutes (before and after photos below).


Next pour in all the chopped tomatoes and passata. Mix thoroughly with the onions, garlic and ginger. Season with salt, pepper, torn basil leaves and dried oregano. Lastly add a pinch of sugar.

Cover the tomato sauce partly with a lid and simmer gently for a further 20-30 minutes until you reach your preferred consistency. The sauce should become much thicker at this point.

I also added in a sliced red pepper and some meatballs which were left over in our fridge.

Serve hot and season again if necessary. This sauce will keep for a few weeks stored in the fridge. I hope to do a post in a few weeks about how to make your own meatballs to accompany this, so look out for it. This is an incredibly easy sauce to make and is very versatile once you have this basic sauce. You can add mince to make it into a bolognese or add more vegetables to include more protein, or serve with meatballs – it’s totally up to you!


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