The Basics: Multipurpose Tomato Sauce

Perfect for pastas, pizzas and many other dishes, there is always a jar of this tomato sauce in my fridge. It is so simple to make – you’ll never again buy a supermarket jar!

Since my good friend Ellie first taught me how to make my own pasta sauce a few years ago, I’ve never looked back! I remember being amazed at how simple it was to make, and how much tastier is was than anything shop-bought.

Store-bought varieties usually contain large amounts of added sugar to preserve the tomato sauce. Making your own tomato sauce not only means you can control the amount of sugar you add (if any!), but it is also cheaper and tastier than supermarket jars.


The sauce keeps fresh in the fridge for around 2 weeks, and can also be frozen, so don’t be afraid to whip up a big batch. Feel free to jazz it up a little by adding mushrooms, roasted peppers or any other vegetables you like. If they’re available, fresh herbs are a great addition.

The longer you cook the tomatoes, the sweeter they will get, and the less likely you are to have to add any sugar to balance the tomato sauce. I usually cook mine for around an hour and don’t need to add any sugar at all!


Basic Tomato Sauce

  • 1 dessert spoon olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 x 400 g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 500 g passata sauce
  • 250 mL water
  • 2 tspn dried basil
  • 2 tspn dried mixed herbs
  • salt and pepper to season


Dice the onion, finely chop the garlic (use a garlic press if you have one) and gently brown for ~5 min in some olive oil on a low-medium heat.

Add all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer.

Once simmering, remove the lid and lower the heat to the lowest level. Continue to cook in this manner (reducing) for  around 1 h. Make sure the stir every 10 min or so, and if it begins to stick, add another little bit of water.

If it still tastes too acidic when it’s finished reducing, add some honey (1 teaspoon at a time) until it is balanced to your taste.

Once cool, store in the fridge or freezer.


Tag @thecorkfork on Instagram to show off your creations with this recipe!


5 thoughts on “The Basics: Multipurpose Tomato Sauce

  1. Judith says:

    Yum. A lovely sauce. I learned how to make this from your Mammy! I add sweet peppers to the mix for extra jazz😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s