How to Make Pasta Sauce with Tomatoes

18 May

This post is dedicated to all those who believe their culinary range is limited to cooking instant noodles and heating ready-made food, for whom pasta sauce means a pricey jar of red substance bought from the supermarket.

Please. Don’t let those packaged pasta sauce bottles burn a hole in your pocket and inject a million preservatives into your system. Making homemade tomato sauce for pasta is the easiest thing in the world. At least, if you go by this recipe I’m going to share with you.

spaghetti-tomatoes-small I often make this on weekends while watching a film on TV, getting up only during the 5-minute ad breaks and have delicious pasta with thick homemade tomato sauce ready without missing any of the film.

Without further ado, here’s my recipe for spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce.

You Need:

  • Tomatoes – 5
  • Onions – 1
  • Garlic – 6 cloves
  • Fresh basil leaves – 6 (optional)
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon (adjust to taste)
  • Pepper – a pinch
  • Chili flakes – a pinch
  • Dried oregano and basil* – 1 teaspoon [have Domino’s seasoning pouches left over? Use those!]
  • Olive oil – a little over 2 teaspoons
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – 2 teaspoons
  • Olives – to garnish
  • Spaghetti (whole wheat if you can lay your hands on it) -300 grams

[Serves 4]

The main ingredients:

pasta-sauce-ingredients

In the picture above: Spaghetti, garlic, basil leaves, onion and tomatoes.

How To:

pureed-tomatoes

Chop onion and garlic finely. Puree the tomatoes.

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add chopped garlic and after half a minute, chopped onions.

Fry on medium-high heat for 4 minutes. The onions will begin to turn golden at this stage.

fried-onions

Pour in the entire fresh tomato puree, add half a teaspoon of salt. Let it come to a boil on high heat, stirring regularly.

Set the heat to low, gently scrape off the tomato puree sticking to the edges of the pan (to avoid burning) and put it back into the pan.

Cover the lid. Now for the next 30 minutes, you need to do nothing but take a peek at how the sauce is getting along at intervals, and give it a stir each time. The sauce will gradually thicken and take on a rich red color.

When the sauce is almost ready, mix in torn fresh basil leaves, dried herbs (oregano and basil), pepper and chili flakes. Adjust salt if needed.

The pictures below show you how the sauce looks after 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 25 minutes and 30 minutes.

pasta-sauce-with-tomatoes

When the tomato sauce has been simmering for about 20 minutes, you can put the spaghetti to boil in another pan. Follow the packet instructions to cook till al dente. Mix 2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil into boiled spaghetti and keep aside till the sauce is ready.

To serve, use a large fork to place spaghetti into bowls. Pour freshly made tomato sauce over spaghetti. Serve with olives.

spaghetti-with-tomato-sauce

7 Responses to “How to Make Pasta Sauce with Tomatoes”

  1. Tadka Pasta June 14, 2012 at 3:52 PM #

    Mmm..love how its turned out so thick and rich! We agree! Pasta sauce made with fresh tomatoes is irresistible. Somehow can’t stand the bottled ones..maybe if only a little is needed, but if it is going to be just spaghetti, it has to be fresh sauce. Yum!

    • S June 18, 2012 at 11:13 PM #

      Thanks :) The best part is, the sauce gets thick and rich with minimal effort from the cook :)

  2. Rae August 11, 2012 at 6:04 PM #

    Ok, 5 tomatoes, what size?

    • S August 11, 2012 at 11:38 PM #

      Hi Rae, I used tomatoes around 2 inches in diameter, and the onion was small one…the photo below the ingredients would give you an idea.

      All proportions can be adjusted to your liking of course.

  3. S August 12, 2012 at 3:41 PM #

    Here’s a picture of pasta in the same sauce with a variation – I added a fistful of sundried tomatoes 5 minutes before stopping the cooking, and garnished with sliced green olives in place of black.

    With fusilli pasta…

    Fusilli pasta with tomato sauce

  4. Melissa March 27, 2014 at 5:54 AM #

    My sauce did not thicken or turn red. It’s still sort of an orange color, and been cooking on low for nearly an hour. I used vine ripened tomatoes. Wonder what I did wrong?

    • S March 27, 2014 at 9:13 AM #

      Hi Melissa, That is unusual – perhaps the “low” setting is too low? Can you cook on higher heat and see what happens?

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