Really Good Homemade Tomato Sauce {Italian Style}

Here's an easy recipe for a delicious and versatile homemade Italian style tomato sauce - the kind you can use as a base in a wide range of dishes. It's so simple and inexpensive to make with tinned tomatoes and a few other ingredients . It's cheaper than ready made jars of pasta sauce but has a more superior flavour and of course no additives or preservatives.

Really Good Homemade Tomato Sauce with tinned tomatoes.jpg

This homemade tomato sauce freezes well and is ideal for batch cooking - in fact, freezing it improves the flavour. I always add a splash of milk to the sauce because it just takes the acidity off the tinned tomatoes. A good pinch of smoked paprika also gives depth of flavour. This homemade tomato sauce has numerious uses, here's just a few:

  • Stir into cooked pasta and top with grated cheese - classic kids food
  • Add a little cream, rosemary & chilli for the most amazing sauce for spaghetti & meatballs 
  • Add chillies and basil to make Arrabiata, the Italian spicy tomato pasta dish
  • Add stock and some crème fraîche to make delicious homemade tomato soup
  • Pour over chicken or white fish and bake in the oven
  • Use as homemade pizza sauce
  • Use as a base to make spaghetti bolognese, stew, casserolechilli con carneItalian bean stew, and so on.
Really Good Homemade Tomato Sauce.jpg

Really Good Homemade Tomato Sauce {Italian Style}

  • Makes: 4-6 servings
  • Time:  15 mins prep + 45 mins cooking
  • Cost:  28p per serving (based on 4 servings)
  • Calories:  105 per serving (based on 4 servings)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • Splash of milk
  • 1 tsp of Italian dried herbs
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Good pinch of smoked paprika


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion for around 5 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the carrot & celery and fry for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. If it starts to stick, add a splash of boiling water and give it a good stir.
  3. Add the garlic and stir fry for one minute more before adding the tins of tomatoes, milk, herbs, sugar, salt & pepper. (The milk just takes the edge off the acidity of the tomatoes.) Give everything a good stir and leave to simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring now and again.
  4. Finally, stir in a good pinch of paprika and turn off the heat. Blend the sauce using a hand blender or food processor until smooth.