June 29, 2023

Easy Tomato Sauce

With San Marzano Canned Tomatoes


Easy Tomato Sauce

IMG 8849

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

Tomato sauce is an essential ingredient for quick and easy home-cooked meals and homemade sauce offers a vibrant flavor that jarred sauces just can't match. It's remarkably easy to make, and once you've tasted the difference, you'll never go back to the jar.

There are many ways to make fresh tomato sauce, and I make it a little different each time, depending on my mood and the amount of time I have. Sometimes, it‘s a rustic mash, a smooth puree, a quick stovetop caramelization, or a slow simmer. In this post, I will share how to make tomato sauce using canned tomatoes, with a few variations and several serving ideas.  

Making tomato sauce is a bit of an art. Play with it, test it, and don't be afraid to add more basil, sauteed onions, try fresh thyme, oregano, or crushed red pepper for a little kick. 



1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

28-ounce can of whole San Marzano tomatoes - preferably packed without citric acid

3-4 cloves of fresh garlic

2 sprigs of fresh basil - about 10 basil leaves

1 tsp of Celtic or sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Optional - 1/4 -1/2 cup dry red or white wine (not sweet)


Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute to open the flavor but not brown it. Then add the tomatoes, squeezing them with your hand to crush them—and add the basil, salt, and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes. Add the (optional) dry red or white wine and cook for another 20 minutes. 

The cooking time is a guideline. You can cook the sauce a little less when you are pressed for time, or let it simmer for hours. Each time you make it, it might be a little different, but it's always good. 

Depending on the taste and quality of the tomatoes, a bit of sugar may be desirable to smooth out an acidic taste. If you find your sauce too acidic, add a teaspoon or so of sugar, taste, and add more if necessary—just enough to cut the acidity. 

Serve as is, or if you prefer a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender, and pulse a few times to break up the chunks and smooth out the sauce. 


Try to find canned tomatoes that do have citric acid listed as an ingredient. Citric acid is a chemical preservative made from Aspergillius Niger, a form of mold. Since our bodies weren't meant to digest chemicals, citric acid can cause bloating and difficulty digesting. Citric acid free tomatoes will produce an easier to digest and more flavorful result.  

Freeze tomato sauce in quart-size freezer baggies or containers, and then it will be on hand when you need it.

IMG 2502

There is good reason the Italians have a routine of making tomato sauce. It's delicious, and they put it on everything.

Serving Ideas:

Make or buy pizza dough and make homemade pizza. It's so light and easy to digest. 

BFB93D24 9E5E 447D 9B5D DE69C6A10F62

Chicken Cacciatore- chicken with onion, bell peppers, olives, and tomato sauce.

IMG 9023 2

Zucchini baked with tomato sauce and mozzarella.

IMG 3635

Pappa al Pomodoro- onions, garlic, breadcrumbs, tomato sauce, and mozzarella.

Pappa al Pomodoro served with fresh mozzarella on top and a basil leaf.

Caponata- bell peppers, onions, celery, eggplant, olives, and tomato sauce.

IMG 1062 2

Share This

Facebook    Pinterest 

I often cook "au pif," as we say in France, which means cooking without an exact recipe and by "feel" using your intuition.  You’ll often find guidelines in many recipes versus exact quantities.  Write to me here if you have any questions about the recipes.

Copyright 2019-2024, Return to the Table by Caterina De Falco, All Rights Reserved

You May Also Be Interested in:

Pasta from Italy

IMG 9051 2

Cooking Pasta to Perfection

IMG 2787

French and Italian Flour

IMG 0569
I provide links to products and services I genuinely love and want to share with you. Some of these links may earn me a referral commission at no additional cost to you. This referral fee helps support this site. Thank you for your support!
Caterina DeFalco image for contact page
Ciao for now!
caterina's signature

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Member Success Stories

  • Now I Have Great Kitchen Intuition!

    "Finding you [has] truly inspired me to cook more and focus on quality ingredients. Strengthening my kitchen intuition has been key, it's how I know to roll leftovers into something new or I can see what I bought and come up with creative solutions.

    As a family, we always valued sitting down together for dinner but now it's done with so much less stress. I can be done with work and still make easy meals . . . amazing quality meals that are thrown together in a short time and we get to enjoy each other!"

    1 2 3 5
  • My Family is Closer Than Ever

    “Your suggestions are so priceless! Thank you for such valuable content. My family is closer than ever, thanks to you!”

  • BRAVO! I'm in!

    “[Caterina is], in 5 steps, hitting all the major points of what works in generational connection across all cultures. Families don’t just happen, they are grown and this is the sweet and lasting way to do that. Bravo and I’m IN!”

  • A Real Game Changer

    "We have made a lot of progress over here under your care. We are now all eating from the same “pot” which I was surprised how much my kids loved. They were so excited when I put the food in the middle of the table. They asked for it the next day, Can we do that special fancy dinner thing where we have a feast? It really is such a better ritual—passing the food around and all sharing from the same platter, a real game changer."

  • Accidental Weight Loss!

    “I don't know if I told you, but I accidentally lost about 8 lbs after cutting out most semi-processed foods!"

Studio One44
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram