Italian Pasta Sauce Recipe
This is my absolute go-to Italian Tomato Pasta Sauce recipe, it is a delicious Italian marinara sauce recipe made from scratch. The depth of flavour makes this sauce so moreish and incredibly irresistible! A classic Italian tomato pasta sauce is made with red wine, this is an ingredient I won’t skip but I also add in a secret ingredient which brings even more life to this recipe! This makes a delicious spaghetti sauce and I often make it in large batches and freeze down some portions for those lazy days when I need a quick but deliciously filling meal!
Uses for Italian Pasta Sauce Recipe
I love the simplicity of this sauce. Give me a bowl of pasta, a spoonful of this sauce, topped with Parmigiano and i’m in heaven. But this recipe can be a base for your tomato sauce, throw in some cooked veggies like carrots, aubergine and courgette for a vegetable pasta sauce. Or turn this into a Spaghetti Sauce, by cooking off your ground meat, lentils or vegan alternative mince. This sauce can be used for Lasagne , Chilli con carne, or any kind of Bolognese. It’s unbeatable an absolutely delicious!
Italian Pasta Sauce Recipe Ingredients
This recipe is a tomato based sauce, I use passata (tomatoes cooked without seeds or skins) as it gives the powerful concentrated tomato flavour whilst still giving volume. If you prefer to use fresh tomatoes, just whizz them up in the blender before to achieve a smoother sauce.
Onions (shallots or white onion, garlic and a generous lug of olive oil. Salt, pepper and mixed Italian dried herbs, like basil, oregano, parsley, coriander, sage, thyme and rosemary (whatever you have to hand!). Next to add the secret ingredient; brown molasses sugar. Just a small amount but enough to bring sweetness to complement the acidic tomato flavour. The passata is added to create the tomato base. Finally not to be forgotten the red wine, I go for a Chianti but any dry red wine will be great! If you want to skip using wine you can substitute with balsamic or red wine vinegar.
How to make pasta sauce from scratch
I think pasta is my favourite food, I could literally eat it every day. Paired with my love for Italy & Italian food, I always experiment on flavours and ingredients when making pasta sauce. I love that this sauce is freezable, make it in a large batch and store in freezer bags in the freezer for later.
For this recipe, you will need a wide frying pan with a fitted lid. The key to cooking a delicious a delicious sauce is to cook the ingredient in stages. Firstly the oil, onions and garlic need to be cooked for around 5 minutes until translucent. Then add in the herbs, salt & pepper and fry off and infuse into the onions & garlic for a few minutes. The brown sugar is added and gets cooked off for a few minutes to caramelise the onions. Add in the passata and stir well. The sauce should be happily bubbling away round the edges of the pan. After this is combined, drizzle in the red wine and stir. Cover with the lid and leave to simmer on a low heat for a further 10 minutes.
Use immediately whilst hot – absolutely delicious! Add in ingredients like cooked veggies, meat or grains (See below some ideas)! The sauce will keep in the fridge for 5 days in a airtight container. You can also pop in a container or freezer bag to store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the sauce first and use a spoonful of spare pasta water to loosen it up if it’s a bit thick!
Italian Pasta Sauce Recipe
- 3 Shallots (1 lg yellow onion)
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp Mixed Italian herbs
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 500 g Tomato Passata
- 150 ml Dry Red Wine
- For this recipe, you need a wide frying pan with a fitted lid. Peel & dice the onions and mince the garlic. Add into the pan with the olive oil.
- Cook on a medium heat for 5-7 minutes until translucent.
- Then add the herbs, salt & pepper to the pan, and fry off to infuse for a couple of minutes.
- Add in the brown sugar and cook for a further 2 minutes to create a caramelization of the onions.
- Next, add in the passata and stir well for a minute before adding in the red wine.
- The sauce should be bubbling away round the edges of the pan. Cover with the lid and leave to simmer on a low heat for a further 10 minutes.
- Use immediately whilst hot – see in the post for some ideas to add in. The sauce will keep in the fridge for 5 days in a airtight container. You can also pop in a container or freezer bag to store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the sauce first and use a spoonful of spare pasta water to loosen it up if it's a bit thick!
Want to make more recipes from scratch?
For more savoury condiments, try out Worcestershire Sauce or homemade BBQ!
Did you try this recipe? Let us know in the comments below!