Tomato sauce

Tomato sauce

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(34 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 50 mins


Makes 8 portions (enough for two meals)
A good tomato sauce has countless uses. Make a big batch, then use in other dishes throughout the week

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal103
  • fat6g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs10g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre3g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.29g
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  • 4 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 onions, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 carrots, finely chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 4 x 400g/14oz cans chopped tomatoes


  1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the vegetables and bay leaf. Stir in the sugar with some salt. Gently cook for 10-15 mins until the veg is tender. Stir in the tomatoes and 150ml water. Simmer very gently for 30 mins until the sauce has reduced by two-thirds and is very thick. (If you have doubled or tripled the quantities, this may take up to 1 hr.)

  2. Stir occasionally, particularly towards the end of the cooking time, so that the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom. If you like your sauce a little thinner, add a splash of water. Serve half with pasta and chill or freeze other half in 1-2 batches for later use (see 'Goes well with' for ideas of how to use up your sauce).

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Comments, questions and tips

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7th May, 2012
Nice and easy to make and great that it can be frozen. Going to try it with the sausage and bean casserole, then blitz it to use with pasta. I added some balsamic vinegar and a little chilli powder.
29th Apr, 2012
The sauce came out really good! I used half of it for meat (baked chicken) and half of it with white fish, and surprisingly (for me at least) I liked it more with the fish! Gave it a really nice flavour.
15th Mar, 2012
I love this recipe and usually add a couple of roasted, skinned and de-seeded red peppers, freeze it in my own portion size to take out when needed.
19th Jan, 2012
Charliepud I've just noticed your question. I used part passata and part tinned toms and just went with the weight equivalent as the passata packs are sold in grams.
19th Jan, 2012
I've just made this and it was a real store cupboard and fridge clear out special using up whatever I had. I blitzed all the veg in my processor as I didn't want identifiable chunks of carrot etc and I used a mix of passata and tinned toms and red onions as that's what I had to hand... oh and rose wine instead of water. I also chucked in a red chilli. I reduced the sauce for an hour and a half because I wanted a deeper flavour it tastes yummy - sausage and bean stew for dinner tonight and two pour and store bags leftover to freeze.
6th Jan, 2012
If I wanted to use passata instead of chopped tomatoes would it be the equivalent amount?
30th Nov, 2011
"A good tomato sauce has countless uses" Funny... William Shakespeare invented countless words... "Countless" is one of them! Seriously, I omit the celery, as a couple of folks are very allergic to it.
25th Nov, 2011
Excellent. It's one of those recipes that you can use up with akmost any dish. i use passata rather than canned tomatoes. its easier and cheaper.
13th Apr, 2011
a useful recipe to have as a guideline. I adjusted the sugar, seasoning and garlic to taste. The main thing for me is that my toddler ate it which makes it good in my book. And as I've put a couple of containers of it in my freezer I've got meals ready and waiting.
12th Apr, 2011
this recipe is great as a base....even better with some roasted peppers :O)


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