I Say Tom-AHHH-to

Something that forms the base of many of my favourite dishes is tomato sauce.  As anyone that has ever lived with me will tell you; cracking open a jar of store-bought sauce is a quick and easy way to annoy me.  It takes very little effort, time and money to make a sauce from scratch.  You can even do a big batch and freeze it in tuperwares, so that it’s ready for those occasions when you are pushed for time.  So tonight I share with you my ultimate tomato sauce recipe.



  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 15oz tins of tomatoes, crushed or chopped* (diced)
  • 2 tbps tomato purée
  • 125ml red wine (1 cup)
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 tsps italian seasoning
  • 2 tsps red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • lots of ground salt & pepper


  • Sautée onions and garlic over a medium heat until they are soft, but not brown.
  • Add tomatoes and tomato puree.  Stir and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Pour in wine, italian seasoning, pepper flakes, bay leaf, sugar and salt & pepper.  Stir on medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and cover.  Let the sauce bubble away gently for at least 20 minutes.  The longer you can leave it the better (I aim for about 45mins -1 hour).  Make sure you stir the sauce every few minutes to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
  • If you like your sauce chunky, simply remove the bay leaf and serve.  If you prefer a smooth sauce, wait for it to cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor or blender to purée.  CAUTION: you must leave a space in the lid of the blender/processor to let steam out, or it will explode.  You have been warned!

This sauce can form the base of a variety of meals, including pastas, pizzas and chicken dishes which you’ll see here in many posts come.  If you have a tomato sauce recipe that you swear by, let me know in comments below.  I’d love to compare notes!


4 thoughts on “I Say Tom-AHHH-to

  1. I pretty much follow the same recipe, leaving out the sugar and adding some fresh basil leaves if I have them. I also like to add shredded carrots and red bell pepper with the onions. For a heartier sauce you can sauté mushrooms and zucchini in a separate pan and add to the sauce about 20 minutes before serving.

    • My mum actually makes a tomato & carrot pasta sauce that used to be a favourite when we were kids – good way to get more veg into us! Sometimes I add mushrooms and peppers too, and love fresh basil if I have it on hand. Drench some pasta in the sauce and cover with melty mozarella… delicious!! Thanks, Kelsey.

  2. Pingback: Stuff Yo’ Shells! …Spinach & Ricotta Style | epicuriousbrit

  3. Thanks for the inspiration, every time I am at the grocery store and reach for store bought sauce I always think to myself how easy it would be to just make it!! Next time I will take a little more time and effort and try this out, thanks for the recipe!!

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