Homemade tomato sauce

You’ll ditch store-bought options once you realise how little it takes to make a seriously yummy tomato sauce of your own! This is my favourite tomato sauce recipe. It’s easy to make, incredibly tasty and relatively inexpensive. I’m a firm believer of layering flavours. And with a jar of this tomato sauce sitting in the fridge or freezer, part of the work of throwing a meal together is already done.

I like that this sauce still manages to retain the fresh flavours of basil after sitting in the back of my fridge for a week. The addition of red wine vinegar perks it up and helps it sustain its pizzazz and, depending on my mood, I add a little more or a little less fire to it with my choice of red chilli. I also really enjoy its rustic texture (I chop it up in the pot using the edge of my wooden spoon). Finally, the generous glug of the best extra virgin olive oil I have on hand that goes into the tomato sauce when it’s done gives it a generous and easy refinement. There’s nothing uptight or overly precise about throwing this tomato sauce together. That’s the whole fun of it. I often have it simmering on the stove while I work on my computer in the kitchen.

And once you’re done, there are so many ways to enjoy this tomato sauce. In our household, it’s primarily used in pizzas. My toddler, T (and CH, actually) likes it tempered with béchamel and buried under cheese. I like enhancing its natural umami by pairing it with lashings of cheese as well as good salami and some mushroom duxelles (preferably an iteration that has been given extra oomph with the addition of dried porcini). It’s just as magical layered into lasagne or tossed into a pasta sauce (especially if you make your own pasta). Both will taste like you’ve slaved over them for hours, rather than mere minutes. I’d use a hint of it to add flavour and colour to fried rice. And it works as a sauce for steak if your taste preferences fly in that direction. Why, it works pretty well in a burger, too!

About Su-Lyn Tan

Su-Lyn is Aun's better half and for many years, the secret Editor behind this blog known to readers simply as S. Su-Lyn is an obsessive cook and critical eater whose two favourite pastimes are spending time with her three kids and spending time in the kitchen. She looks forward to combining the two in the years to come.


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22 March 2013


Hi S.
I have to tell u this. I tried the quick dough pizza and it was superb. The children and hubby loved it! It’s also very easy to work with compared to the recipe I usually use. I had followed your link to the Jaime Oliver tomato sauce recipe and made a big batch today. Like that you had scaled it down to just 2 tins cos 3 is way too much for our kocal family sizes. Looking forward to more kid friendly recipes!

Hi Bzzymum,
I’m so glad the pizza dough recipe worked well for you! I just made it for T’s second birthday over a week ago. Everyone loved it.
As for this recipe for tomato sauce, I didn’t really scale it down. My issue wasn’t quantity, it was flavour and texture. I decreased the amount of tomato without decreasing the other ingredients so that the finished product wouldn’t just taste of tomato and nothing else. I also reduced the liquid quite aggressively by simmering it for quite some time at the end (which Jamie Oliver doesn’t) so that the flavours are punchier, and the sauce is thick rather than watery (which was the result I got with the original recipe). I feel that this version is a little more assertive in flavour. It’s possibly something that appeals more to my Singaporean tastebuds. When I’m not serving it to T, I actually throw in a chilli padi. Gives it a nice kick. Hopefully, you’ll give it a try some time 🙂

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