Back to Basics Tomato Sauce

Back to Basics Tomato Sauce is a wonderful base for so many good add-ins sneaking in extra veggies, chilies, olives or capers, cheese, cream, sausage, mince, seafood, and of course wine or vodka if you wish.  Tomatoes may be roasted or peeled, sauce pureed or left with hearty bites. It is easy and healthy to prepare, without sugar and preservatives from the jar or a can and simple to make over fire when camping. It can be used in a variety of ways from lasagna to dipping sauce for garlic bread, topping pasta and veggies, or base for egg baked shakshuka.

Back to basics tomato sauce starts of course with tomatoes.

Back to Basics Tomato Sauce Recipe


Herbal add-ins: Basil, oregano, rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion peeled and chopped
  • 6 Garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Red pepper flakes
  • 1 kg. Tomatoes cored and quartered
  • 1 tbsp. Oregano
  • 1 tbsp. Basil
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Salt to taste


  • Large pot
  • Wooden spoon


  1. Heat oil in pot
  2. Sautee onions until translucent
  3. Add garlic and red pepper flakes
  4. Add chopped tomatoes with oregano, basil (dried), bay leaf
  5. Cover and simmer about 40 to 60 minutes. For a thicker sauce, cook longer uncovered and allow the liquids to evaporate.
  6. Season with salt and fresh basil

You can choose to puree the sauce with a blender or leave it chunky depending on your prefrence and what you are cooking.

A big pot of sauce cooking on the stove
Sauce in the pot

Creative Add-ins for Back-to-Basics Tomato Sauce

The goodieswhen they go in
chilieswith the garlic
peppers, mushrooms, eggplantsaute before the tomatoes
mince and sausagecook ahead, strain in papertowel, then add with tomatoes
parmesan cheese rindswith the tomatoes
boozewith the tomatoes
hard veggies (carrots, cauliflower)with the tomatoes
soft veggies (zucchini, spinach)last 10 minutes
cheese last 10 minutes
olives or caperslast 10 minutes
seafood (shrimp, mussels)par cook seafood, set aside, add in last 10 minutes
fresh herbslast 5 minutes
creampuree finished sauce and add cream then back on stove

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