Pomodoro sauce is THE Italian tomato sauce! It’s thick and smooth and the basis for so many amazing recipes. You’ll love this very traditional version of the recipe using just a handful of simple ingredients brought together to make the best sauce.
It’s been a while since I’ve shared a new fundamentals of Italian cooking post! Next up is gnocchi (so good!), but I decided it was past time to share my most basic and simple tomato sauce with you.
As I said above, this THE sauce. If you’re cooking up some meatballs or making baked pasta or just want some simple spaghetti, this is the sauce you need! While marinara is more popular as a sauce here in the US, pomodoro is the one loved in Italy. Though I’ll note we enjoy it too, but we just call it tomato sauce, sell it in cans, and don’t think much about it. But we can do better than that! This is tomato sauce as it is meant to be.
What do you need?
- Tomatoes – Since this sauce is so simple, you want to use the best tomatoes you can. While there are a number of excellent tomato varieties for sauce, San Marzano is the best known and most available, so I would recommend that if you can find it. (See below for more info!) If you cannot, there a number of brands of plum tomatoes which will work beautifully. Just remember the flavor of the brand you use will be the flavor of the sauce, so choose one you love.
- Garlic – A few cloves. And I like chopped instead of minced. I find garlic is sweeter and milder when chopped.
- Olive Oil – I use extra virgin.
- Kosher Salt – A pinch while cooking the garlic and more later to taste.
How do you make it?
To make pomodoro sauce first gently saute chopped garlic in olive oil until soft. Then add the tomatoes, breaking them up at bit in the pot, and bring to simmer. Simmer until the sauce is thick and the tomatoes are falling apart. Puree until smooth.
And that’s it! A little garlic and olive oil. A couple of cans of tomatoes. A bit of time and then the blender. Done!
How to store tomato sauce
Once you have finished the sauce you can store it in a covered container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or transfer it to freezer safe containers (or bags) and keep it for 3-4 months if well sealed.
If you try my recipe for Italian Pomodoro Sauce I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
How to Make Italian Pomodoro Sauce
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 28-oz cans San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper or fresh black pepper, optional
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
- Warm olive oil in a large pot over medium low heat.
- Add garlic and a pinch of kosher salt. Gently saute (without browning!) until the garlic is soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes with their juice. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Puree the sauce either in batches in a blender or using a stick blender in the pot.
- Add kosher salt. If using add red pepper or black pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Serve with fresh basil.
- Tomatoes: San Marzano tomatoes are the classic choice for tomato sauce. (See the post for info on picking authentic brands.) You can also use other types of plum or sauce type tomatoes. Just make sure the tomatoes are whole and packed in juice (not puree).
- Adding Pepper: I prefer to add any pepper to the sauce when I'm going to use it in a recipe and keep the base sauce mild.
- Basil: You can also add a sprig of basil to the sauce as you cook it down. Just remove it before pureeing.