Tomato Sauce for Amateurs

Tomato Sauce for Amateurs


Homemade tomato-based sauces take all day when done right. The meat cooks in the sauce, everything simmers for hours melding all the flavors, then by dinner time you have an amazing flavor-filled delicious sauce to pour over your pasta and serve to a family. Any family.

This amateur recipe is not the “right” way to make pasta sauce. However, if you’re cooking for yourself and need something to put over your frozen ravioli or cheap pasta, you can make a pretty tasty sauce in 30ish minutes. It won’t be as good as the real one but it will be better than the jarred stuff you’re using now.


The foundation of this recipe is canned stewed tomatoes. One can should get you 2 servings which is ideal for one person as you’ll have some for dinner then the rest for lunch the next day. Heads up, this is a tomato-chunk type sauce, it won’t be completely liquid.

Like most sauces, this is based on your own flavor preferences. The basic spices are basil, oregano, and garlic, but you can throw in onions, red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese, etc. Just keep tasting the sauce on a spoon as it simmers and remember that the longer it simmers, the more the flavors will meld together.


  • 1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes (seasoned or unseasoned)
  • Spices like Basil, Oregano, Red Pepper Flakes, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Salt, Pepper
  • Tomato Paste or Flour
  • Sugar
  • Pasta


  1. Pour the can of stewed tomatoes into a small pot over medium-heat
  2. Stir gently a few times, cover the pot, let cook for 5 minutes
  3. Once the tomatoes have softened, use a wooden spoon to cut/smoosh the tomatoes into smaller pieces
  4. Stir in the spices – start small, you can add more later
  5. Stir in a very small amount of tomato paste or flour to thicken the sauce to your preference
  6. Taste the sauce – if too bitter/acidic, add a very small amount of sugar
  7. Let cook 3 minutes covered
  8. Taste the sauce. Add more of the spices to get the flavor to your liking
  9. Reduce heat to low and simmer sauce while pasta cooks
  10. Serve over pasta

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