This recipe makes use of tomato paste, fresh tomatoes and Italian herbs to make a flavorful and versatile tomato sauce which is quick to prepare. Toss with pasta to make the perfect dinner.
I have pored through many cookbooks and Googled many different recipes but have yet to find a quick tomato sauce recipe that suited my kitchen. Almost all the quick recipes called for canned & crushed tomatoes, with San Marzano tomatoes being the recommended brand. Unfortunately, canned tomatoes aren’t common here in Pakistan, and I have yet to see a San Marzano. The ones available are expensive compared to fresh tomatoes (in season), and there is a lack of variety. So instead of using canned tomatoes, I decided to use tomato paste along with just one raw tomato for freshness.
Before you ask, the reason for not using just fresh tomatoes for the tomato sauce recipe is that it would take too much time. First one would have to take the skin off (known as blanching) and it would take some time for the tomatoes to then break down into a sauce. So this recipe works best in terms of simplicity and flavour.
As a recipe developer and as someone who has been blogging about food for a while, it is important to think about availability of ingredients, the ease of finding ingredients, and the price of those ingredients when creating a recipe. Experimenting and expanding ones palate is necessary, but it should be done in a way that is comfortable for the person trying out the recipe. That is why I try my best to provide substitutions, explain techniques and mention where ingredients are available.
Getting back to this basic tomato sauce, it can be tossed together with your favourite kind of pasta and enjoyed as a lunch, dinner or a snack. Just serve with garlic bread on the side. Or add some vegetables and protein, like my ultimate pan-seared chicken to make a more substantial meal.
Quick and Simple Tomato Sauce
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 tomato chopped
- 4 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Italian Herbs or a mix of various herbs like rosemary, thyme, basil or oregano
- ½ - 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder optional
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ - ¾ cup water or chicken stock (if using chicken stock, adjust salt content)
- Heat oil and add garlic. Once the garlic is light brown, add onion.
- Cook the onion for a few minutes till it turns soft and translucent.
- Add the chopped tomato, and cook for about a minute.
- Add tomato paste, along with herbs, red chili flakes, salt, white pepper, worcestershire, garlic powder, and sugar.
- Mix together, and add about 1 cup water or chicken stock. Cook for about 30 minutes till the tomatoes are mashed together, and the sauce is reduced. The sauce can be served as is, or it can be pureed till smooth if you don’t prefer a chunky sauce.