Tomato Pasta Sauce – a recipe

The Italians know the secret to making a perfect tomato pasta sauce and we are sharing some of their tips here for you to follow. (Don’t tell them though – because we will use NZ tomatoes which taste even more amazing!)

Tomato pasta sauce

Serving Size:
1 litre
1 hour


  • 100ml olive oil (extra virgin if you have it)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic,
  • sea salt
  • 2.5 kilos tomatoes, peeled and core removed
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • sea salt and black pepper


  • Pour olive oil into a heavy based frypan. Don’t skimp on the oil. You want all of it.
  • Heat the oil on low to medium heat and add in the chopped onion and garlic. Cook for at least 10 minutes on low, to soften the onion. You don’t want to have any crunch. It should melt in your mouth. Season with a decent pinch of salt as it cooks
  • Chop your tomatoes into quarters and add to the pan along with the tomato paste (the tomato paste adds to the colour and the jammy texture of the sauce but is not essential)
  • Stir the sauce frequently to stop it from sticking. The longer you can cook this the better it will be.
  • Season with salt and pepper and cook until the sauce is rich, jammy and screams tomato at you.
  • Check seasoning again.
  • Use sauce straight away or freeze or jar for future use.


If you have time to let your onions and garlic cook for 20 minutes then you will have a lovely base before adding the tomatoes.

You can add herbs such as thyme, marjoram, parsley to the sauce as it cooks. You can follow Ray McVinnie who adds basil just before serving.

To freeze, cool the sauce down and pour into freezer pouches. Label and use during winter when tomatoes are less abundant and you are hoping for a hint of summer.

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