Basic Pasta Sauce Recipe

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Basic Pasta Sauce Recipe

Pasta with grated parmesan and a tomato-based sauce is a quick and easy weekday dinner. Blend the sauce if you prefer a smooth consistency. To create the best creamy pasta sauce mix in some cream cheese or mascarpone.
Tomato pasta sauce ingredients
Basic tomato pasta sauce
How to make basic tomato pasta sauce
  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time20 min
  • Total Time30 min
  • Yield4


Basic Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 tin peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (you can replace it with caster sugar and add less if you prefer more of tangy taste)
  • salt
  • olive oil for frying


  • grated parmesan
  • 2 tbs cream cheese (mascarpone)
  • fresh basil

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Finely chop the onion.


Heat the oil in the pan and fry the onion until golden.


Add tomatoes (If you are using whole plum tomatoes it’s better to chop them before adding them to the pan. If you don’t mind bigger chunks of tomatoes in the sauce you can crush them with a wooden spoon once they are cooking.)


Add all ingredients including crashed or thinly chopped garlic, sugar and salt.


Let the sauce reduce on medium heat for 15 – 20 minutes.


Tip: If you want to make the sauce smooth and creamy simply blend it with 2 full tablespoons of cream cheese or mascarpone. 

Smooth tomato pasta sauce

Since the day I’ve tried this brilliant homemade sauce I fell in love with it and I’ve never gone back to having spaghetti with ketchup or one of those commercial sauces (oh yeah I still remember those dinners well).

Making this amazing tomato pasta sauce takes around 30 minutes of your time, that’s how simple it is. It’s a perfect solution when you need to make a quick dinner from scratch and you don’t want to compromise on taste. It’s handy to prepare the sauce in advance and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze it to make sure it lasts longer.

Preparing two meals from this recipe is easy. Just double the ingredients and cook a bigger batch.  We often have 1/2 of the sauce with spaghetti and parmesan and we keep the rest of the sauce in the fridge for another quick meal 2 – 3 days later.  

It’s super simple to alter the recipe and make it taste different by adding 2 big tablespoons of cream cheese and blending it. I usually use Philadelphia because it’s always in our fridge but if you want to make it more indulgent, you can add mascarpone instead. This little step adds a smooth, creamy taste to the sauce. You can serve it with olives or fresh basil for change.

In my experience, making the sauce smooth helps with fussy children alias my younger boy. He barely eats any vegetables, so he doesn’t like the sauce when it’s left with pieces of tomatoes but he loves it with his pasta when I blend it.

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