Il Sugo di Pomodoro

Tomato Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    (once reduced, makes about 2 cups )

Appears in

I am going to give you three completely different tomato sauces for pasta, as I believe it to be essential for so many aspects of Italian cooking. This first sauce can also be bottled in sterilized bottles for the winter. It contains no fat and is reliant on the flavor of the tomatoes and the other ingredients. The second sauce begins with a classical soffritto, a mixture of onion, carrot and celery which is gently fried until soft. Tomatoes are then added. The third is the quickest and with the least ingredients, and has a garlic base. Of course there are many other variations, but the most important thing to remember is that the tomatoes you choose for your sauce must be of the best possible quality as this will give you the best results—a watery tomato, fresh or canned, will give you a sauce with less flavor.


  • lb fresh plum tomatoes, peeled and quartered or cups canned plum tomatoes, drained and quartered
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, quartered
  • 1 celery stalk, quartered
  • 1 large fresh parsley sprig
  • 7 fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt


  1. Place all the ingredients except the salt in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil, then allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for an additional 20 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and push through a food mill or strainer. Alternatively, process in a food processor until smooth and then strain into a bowl.
  3. Return the sauce to a boil and reduce until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste once you have achieved the texture you like. Either use immediately or allow to cool and refrigerate until required.