I am a sucker for quick and simple recipes. As much as I love cooking, I don’t want to spend hours chopping, mincing, sifting, whisking or stirring my food. All cookbooks with recipes that announce that they can be prepared in 30 minutes or less (ideally including the cooking or baking time) are made for me. Ingredients lists with less than 10 items are my thing too. The less ingredients I have, the less there is to chop, cut or mixed together. Less is also the chance that I will mess it up, I believe.

This tomato sauce is one of a the standard recipes in our household that can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes. My son loves pasta and tomato sauce (this one!) in his lunchbox for school. I often make a big batch. That leaves room for variety and extension. Add some clam meat to make it a seafood tomato sauce over pasta, or add capers, olives and anchovies for a Puttanesca sauce. Thin it out with vegetable stock to make it a hearty tomato soup. The list is endless. The freshness that comes from the ingredients is unbeatable. No tomato sauce from a jar can ever taste like this.

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Serves 4

In a medium pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Fry onions for a few minutes, then add minced garlic and fry for another few minutes. Stir in chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Season with thyme, chili (optional), and sea salt. Cover with lid and simmer over low heat for about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Puree wit a blender to a smooth sauce or leave chunky.


  1. Delish! Italians would be proud of this:)

  2. Nothing beats homemade tomato sauce. It’s hard to go back to the stuff in the jar after you have made it fresh!

  3. I love multifunctional recipes and ingredients. I believe that food and foodstuff should have limitless possibilities, but my energy has limits and so is my time, so I don’t to spend forever preparing. I need time to enjoy my food too. This post is great! I love simple yet yummy dishes. =)

  4. Another keeper! I’m all in with this list of ingredients and I couldn’t agree more about the simplicity of cooking.

  5. Yay for simple tomato sauces. I always prefer to make my own sauce for pasta but sometimes the ingredient list is so freaking long and it ends up just being easier to open a jar of Classico. Thanks for this great recipe. It’ll probably become a mainstay in my kitchen.

  6. I love simple tomato sauces too & the option to puree them or leave it chunky!

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