Simple Tomato Sauce

Simple Tomato Sauce

I don’t know who decided that the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day should be barbecue season. Really? The hottest months of the year? Obviously this person did not live in Texas. As much as I love to grill and barbecue, with the heat of summer sitting heavily upon us, you are more than likely going to start seeing a few more recipes cooked inside. Where there is AC. Where even the dogs would much rather prefer to be. I mean come on….we’ve already had 3 consecutive days of 100+ weather, no end of that in sight, no chance of rain. Maybe we’ll get a cold front soon and it will knock us back down to the upper 90’s. I think I’ve started to ramble again. Let’s rein this back in.

So I didn’t want to cook outside and I was having a craving for Italian food the other day. And what better way to have Italian food than to start off with a home-made simple tomato sauce?


  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tbsp dried)
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of sugar (to cut the acidity a bit)


  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften

    Sautee some onions and garlic
  • Add the garlic and cook until soft, being careful not to burn

    Add chopped basil
  • Add the basil and cook for 3 to 5 minutes

    Add canned tomatoes
  • Add the canned tomatoes with their juices and bring to a boil

    Simmer for 15-20 minutes
  • Lower the heat and allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken
  • Using an immersion blender (or a blender), pulse a few times to break up the tomatoes to achieve a sauce like consistency (you are looking to still have some chunks, you don’t want it to be completely smooth, but exact consistency is up to you)
  •  Season with salt and pepper to taste

*Note – tomato sauce will last 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

Pretty simple, huh? And packs a whole bunch more flavor than that pre-made stuff in the jars. Feel free to experiment with other fresh herbs if you like. Rosemary, oregano and thyme would all make great additions to this sauce. And now that I say that I am kicking myself because we are growing all three of those, in addition to the basil, and somehow it totally slipped my mind to include them. DOH!! Check back in tomorrow to see what we served the simple tomato sauce on.


15 thoughts on “Simple Tomato Sauce

  1. I wanted to poke my nose over that pot and just breath in deep. I’ll bet it smelled heavenly in your house. The recipe looks delicious. I totally agree about grilling in the heat. I love the method of cooking dearly, but there’s a point where it’s just too doggone hot. Even my chickens are refusing to lay, so who am I to be out there?

    1. Oh man…the whole house smelled wonderful. Garlic and onions and home made Italian sausage all cooking up. So good.

      There was just no way I was going to fire up the grill yesterday in 100+ temps. Heck, it was still over 80 when I got up this morning. Gonna be a long, miserable summer I am afraid.

  2. Yeah, it is HOT. So stove meals are a great option!

    Right at the end of my sauce cooking, I love to add a pat of butter. It gives it just a bit of richness.

    Are there extras, by the way? Because that looks killer!

  3. I’ve felt this way about grilling during the summer for as long as I can remember. I tend to employ the slow cooker more during the summer than I do winter — because it doesn’t heat up the house. It was so hot in northeast Texas yesterday, I ate a couple of tostadas from Taco Casa, even though I have a fridge full of meat, fresh squash and cream crowders. Good looking ‘mater sauce, by the way.

    1. Maybe I should pull out the slow cooker. Got any good recipes? And if you say ribs, brisket, pulled pork or anything BBQ, you are fired.

      Not familiar with Taco Casa. Is that local?

  4. I laughed when I saw this post — I think all of the Texans are on the same page. I did fire up the BGE yesterday and was wondering about my intelligence. Love me some fresh tomato sauce — yours looks yum!

    1. This one is. There are way fancier ones with tons more ingredients, but for what I was cooking (and will post tomorrow) I wasn’t looking for the sauce to be the star and overpower the rest of the meal.

  5. Firing up some meats and veggies on the BGE right now with a dip in the hot tub, er, swimming pool every other minute. Brutal heat at 109 in Austin today!!! Oregon looks good right about now…

  6. Our kitchen is tiny and heats up so fast when I use the oven or stove that it actually keeps our house cooler when we cook outside. We are having the same 100+ temps (107 today), ugh!

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