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Classic Tomato Sauce Recipe Food Gypsy

Classic Tomato Sauce

  • Author: Cori Horton
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x


Classic Tomato Sauce, or Sauce de Tomate or Red Sauce is found across many cultures. It’s amazingly versatile, as the foundation of many great pasta, chicken, beef, lamb, vegetable and egg dishes. Truth be told, the classics never go out of style!


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (about 11/2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 12 ripe Roma or San Marzano tomatoes
  • OR 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme OR 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, crumbled OR 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil, finely chopped OR 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste


  1. Blanche tomatoes: Score each tomato on the bottom, marking a small ‘X’ on the bottom with a sharp paring knife. Bring a big pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Reduce heat slightly.  Quickly slip tomatoes in, one by one being careful not to splash.  Cook lightly, about 2 minutes depending on how ripe your tomatoes are.  Remove from hot water with slotted spoon.  Place immediately in waiting ice water bath. Skins will split and begin to slough off as they cool.  Once cool enough to handle, remove skins and reserve skinless tomatoes in a bowl at room temperature.
  2. Do your prep. Chop onion. Mince garlic. Grate tomatoes into a large bowl, one by one.
  3. In a large pan, over medium-high heat add a thick slick of olive oil (about 3 tablespoons). When oil is hot, lightly sweat onion until just transparent, about 3 minutes. Season with salt & pepper and stir as needed.
  4. Add garlic & bay leaf to the pan, stir, add more oil if needed. Sweat until garlic is soft, and bay leaf is fragrant.  Onions and garlic should remain blond, without colour.
  5. Add tomato pulp (or canned puree if using), stir to combine.
  6. Add herbs: thyme, oregano and basil (fresh or dried) and stir to mix. Bring to simmer.
  7. Reduce heat. Simmer, on medium low heat for 40 – 45 minutes or until tomato has turned from bright red to a deep, rich red and sauce has reduced to a thicker consistency. Watch for splatters. A splatter guard is a good investment for reduction sauces.
  8. Season to taste with salt & pepper.


Use as a base for any recipe requiring tomato sauce; pasta, lasagna, lamb, beef, chicken or egg dishes. You can never go wrong with Classic Tomato Sauce.

  • Category: Sauces
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: Classic Tomato Sauce, Fresh Tomato Sauce