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Authentic Homemade Tomato Pasta Sauce Recipe

November 9, 2022

Whether you call it Sunday gravy or marinara, nothing beats the flavor of a slow-cooked tomato sauce made from scratch. Not everyone has all day to devote to simmering a sauce, but what if you could make it outside while tending to your yardwork or relaxing in the sun?

Nicolock knows how to create a custom outdoor kitchen with a side burner that makes it easy to bring the Italian countryside into your backyard. We want to share our favorite authentic pasta sauce recipe that would make any nonna proud.

Authentic Tomato Sauce From Scratch

Recipe Category: Sauces, Main Dishes, Vegetarian

Cuisine: Italian

Serves eight to ten

Calories: 135 per serving

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours and 20 minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes or 15 fresh tomatoes, peeled, chopped and pureed in a blender or food processor

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

4 tablespoons fresh basil

1 tablespoon sugar (optional)


Place a 5-quart pot on the burner at medium heat. Add olive oil and chopped onion, then saute until translucent, about five minutes. Add minced garlic and cook, stirring often. Do not allow it to burn or your sauce will taste bitter.

Next, add your fresh or canned tomatoes, spices and basil. At this stage, you can also add sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes, but it is not necessary. While stirring, bring the sauce to a low boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer uncovered.

Be sure to stir the sauce occasionally. After an hour or two, cover the sauce and continue to simmer. After simmering for three hours, taste the sauce and adjust seasoning as needed. You can add pre-cooked meatballs or Parmesan cheese, or you can enjoy the sauce's rich flavor on its own over your favorite pasta.

The trick to this sauce is cooking it low and slow, but you don't have to stay inside and wait for it to finish if you use your outdoor kitchen from Nicolock.