Basic Tomato Sauce

Ditch the jar and start making your own healthy tomato sauce! It’s easy to make, and freezes well for those nights when you need to get a meal on the table quickly. We like this sauce over a mix of pasta and zoodles. Ready? Let’s get cooking!

Sweat some diced onion in a bit of EVOO until translucent, about 5 minutes. You’re not going for color here. If you onions start to brown, turn the heat down. It will give your sauce a bitter flavor. Then add the oregano and a generous amount of garlic, and cook for a minute while stirring constantly. Go nuts with the garlic. I always think I’m using enough, and then end up adding garlic powder at the end because I was too reserved with the garlic.

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Breathe in the aroma. As Hubbins says, all the best foods start with onions and garlic!

Now add the tomato paste, and stir constantly for about a minute. Then add both cans of tomatoes (I like to use one can of petite diced, and one can of crushed, but you can have both be diced or crushed depending on your preference for texture). Fill one of the cans about halfway with water, and add to the pot. Bring the whole mess to a simmer, and let it get happy for an hour, stirring occasionally. (If you need it more quickly, don’t add the water and let it simmer for at least 20 minutes.)

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Give the sauce a taste. If it’s tart, add a little sugar. If it’s sweet, add a little white wine vinegar. Once the sauce is well-balanced, it’s ready to be combined with your pasta of choice! I would always recommend undercooking your pasta a bit, then finish cooking it in the sauce. The pasta will soak up some of the flavor from the sauce, and the starch from the pasta will thicken the sauce a bit. It’s beautiful symbiosis. Buon appetito!


  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion – 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp finely diced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1 Tbsp dried)
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • sugar or white wine vinegar to balance


  1. Heat deep pot over medium low heat. Add oil.
  2. Add onions and salt, and sweat until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and oregano and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Add both cans of tomatoes, and approximately 1/2 a can of water.
  6. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, and let simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. Adjust with sugar or vinegar to balance the sauce. Start with 1 teaspoon at a time. You can always add more!


*This sauce counts as a green container on the 21 Day Fix!


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