This versatile homemade tomato sauce recipe is a great starting place for pizza and pasta dishes. What makes this recipe stand out is how the addition of a few ingredients deepens the tomatoes’ natural flavors.
How to make Homemade Tomato Sauce
So many tomato sauce recipes try to use as few ingredients as possible and end up tasting like a can of tomatoes got dumped on your food, or they go the other way and ask you to cook everything for twelve hours.
Our recipe uses anchovy paste and Worcestershire sauce, two ingredients loaded with umami, to deepen the sauce’s flavor profile and bring the other ingredients to life. They also help make the sauce taste like it was cooked all day. If you want to learn more about incorporating more umami flavors into your cooking read Everything You Need to Know About Umami.
One thing you won’t find in this recipe is lots of added sugar. So many of the recipes we researched while developing this one have tons of extra sugar, which makes no sense to us unless you’re trying to duplicate grocery store tomato sauce or pick up an extra cavity or two.
Because this sauce only needs 30 minutes of cooking time, it’s easy to make as you’re prepping the other parts of dinner. It’s also easy to double the recipe and freeze it, so it’s on hand whenever you’re hungry for homemade Italian.
- Using the olive oil sauté the onion and garlic on medium heat for a couple of minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, anchovy paste, and Worcestershire sauce and give everything a good stir. Continue cooking for a few minutes while stirring, to make sure nothing burns.
- Add the tomatoes, including juice, along with the fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and oregano. Let everything come to a boil, then turn the heat down to a low simmer and add the basil.
- Cook for at least 30 minutes, stirring every once in a while, to let the flavors come together.
- This recipe works well with diced or crushed tomatoes. The diced tomatoes create a thicker, chunkier sauce while the crushed tomato sauce is smoother.