Darthlaurie's Indispensable Basic Pasta Sauce

Total Time
Prep 2 mins
Cook 15 mins

Everyone has that one recipe they can't live without. This is the recipe I turn to when I don't know what else to fix for dinner. When I was first out on my own, I looked up a bunch of recipes and then, I figured out what I really needed to make a basic pasta sauce. This is really basic and you can add veggies or meat or anything else you want to try. Have fun and enjoy!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a medium pot, saute garlic in olive oil, if desired. If you choose not to, go on to step 2.
  2. Combine all the ingredients except for the red pepper flakes. Simmer over medium heat until sauce boils; smash tomatoes during simmering. Simmer until it reaches desired consistency (this will take longer without tomato paste).
  3. Add red pepper flakes in the last five minutes of cooking.
  4. Serve over favorite pasta or freeze.
  5. Tips: If sauce just isn't tasting right, add a tiny bit of sugar or salt. Roasted red peppers, onions, and mushrooms are particularly tasty additions. The longer you simmer the sauce, the tastier it becomes. Add more seasonings as needed since all measurements are approximations.


Most Helpful

I agree that it is a great "starter" sauce. Easy to make and good taste. I added 3/4 cup water, otherwise it would have turned out too thick. Also I used a vegetable bouillon cube and I did not need either salt nor sugar. it freezes well. Thanks for posting.

Chef Dudo January 21, 2010

A great "starter" sauce that uses items I always have on hand -- I added diced onion & mushrooms, tripled the garlic, and added about a cup & a half of water. It was still pretty thick after simmering for 2 hours (which is how we like it). I added in a pinch of kosher salt & a pinch of sugar when I stirred in the red pepper flakes. I served it over whole-wheat penne with a green salad & crusty bread -- a perfect lazy Sunday dinner. Thanks!

newspapergal December 18, 2006

Best spagetti sauce I've ever made. I too added a diced onion and green pepper, I sauteed for 20 min before adding tomatoes, et. al. I also pureed in blender as my children don't like "chunks" of tomatoes. Thanks super recipe!

dala162 August 27, 2006

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a