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Tomato and Basil Sauce

This Tomato and Basil Sauce is the foundation for so many recipes. A tomato sauce doesn’t have to have a list of ingredients or be time consuming. When anyone thinks about making homemade tomato and basil sauce they may feel intimidated by the process, but this recipe is so simple and easy that anyone can do it.


What type of tomatoes should I use for my sauce?

When making a tomato and basil sauce you want to make sure you are using the best ingredients, otherwise the flavor of the sauce will be off. The tomatoes that I recommend and that have the best taste are San Marzano. They are imported form Italy and are perfect for making sauce. I usually make sure that I find organic San Marzano tomatoes, so I know that they are quality. Most grocery stores will carry them in the canned food isle.

How do I add flavor to a tomato and basil sauce?

This recipe is a little unique from a traditional tomato and basil sauce. For one, anchovies are added at the beginning to give the sauce a natural flavor. Some people may read anchovies and be turned off, but the anchovies add a salt and nuttiness to the tomatoes. The second thing that is added to the sauce is, crushed red pepper. This step is optional, but it does add some nice spice and flare to the traditional recipe.

What can I use the sauce for?

This sauce is the base for so many Italian recipes. It’s perfect for pizzas, pastas, lasagnas, chicken parmesan, eggplant parmesan, etc. What’s nice about this sauce is that its quick and easy! Make it ahead of time and then store it in your freezer until you are ready to use.


Tomato and Basil Sauce

Fresh tomato, garlic, and basil create a beautiful sauce that is the base for many recipes.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup whole basil leaves- stems removed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp anchovies-chopped
  • 28oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper optional
  • salt/pepper for taste


  • Place a medium sauce pot on the stove, but don't turn on the heat. Add olive oil, garlic, and basil to the pot. Turn heat on low/medium. Let the ingredients slowly warm and release their flavors. Make sure that the garlic doesn't start to brown, if this happens reduce heat slightly. Continue this process for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add anchovies to the pan and increase heat to medium. Let the anchovies melt into the basil and garlic mixture.
  • Using your hands crush the whole tomatoes and add to the pot, including the juice from the can. Stir mixture to combine all of the flavors. Add crushed red pepper if desired and stir again. Bring the sauce to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium/low. Allow the sauce to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  • Once sauce is done simmering taste and add salt/pepper for flavor. Serve the sauce with pasta, pizza, or any Italian dish thats desired.

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