Light Tomato Sauce Recipe

Chef Cindy Mooney , On August 22, 2022


Level: Super Easy!

Time: 10min

Cost: Low

Tomato sauce Recipe Overview

This light, fresh tomato sauce recipe would be the one used in the Naples region of Italy hundreds of years ago – before it was coined as one of the 5 mother sauces. It’s simplicity and freshness makes it the perfect tomato sauce recipe to top any type of homemade or restaurant quality pasta. You can also add this tomato sauce to seafood salad recipe. This is also a vegan tomato sauce recipe that is all natural and low in calories.

Kitchen Tools For This Tomato Sauce Recipe:

  • Mixing bowl

  • Measuring spoons

  • Mixing spoon (metal or wood)

  • Mashing tool – potato masher, large fork, food mill…

light tomato sauce Recipe Overview

Kitchen Tools for Tomato Sauce Recipe

Light tomato sauce Recipe Ingredients & Shopping List

  • 32 oz can San Marzano whole tomatoes (Better tomatoes make better sauce. Try to find imported D.O.P. if possible. See information below about San Marzano tomatoes.)

  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped (alternative, 1 teaspoon dry oregano)

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (alternative, 2 tablespoon dried basil)

  • Kosher salt to taste (usually about 1/2 teaspoon)

light tomato sauce Recipe Ingredients Overview

Ingredients for tomato sauce

Light Tomato Sauce Recipe Cooking Instructions

  1. Empty the can of tomatoes into a mixing bowl. Crush the tomatoes, using one of many possible techniques. You can simply crush them by hand, use a potato masher, or if you have a food mill with a course grate that works very well. You control the texture here, whether you want chunky or smooth.

    Pizza Recipe Mixing

    How to mix Tomato Sauce

  2. Add all of the ingredients and mix well with a spoon. That’s it! Use your tomato sauce recipe over a spaghetti recipe, with bread or other with a clam seafood recipe for a delicious meal.

Tomato Sauce Recipe Video

In this tomato sauce recipe video Chef Dan goes over how to make tomato sauce at home:

Red tomato sauce Variations

If you want a thicker sauce, you can simply cook it down on a low simmer, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t scorch on the bottom, until you get the desired thickness.

An optional way to thicken it is to mix in San Marzano tomato paste. Add some more salt to taste if doing this.

If you want a smoother sauce, instead of crushing, blend the tomatoes with a stick mixer or blender for a few seconds.

Common Questions About red tomato sauce:

How do I store my red tomato sauce? This sauce can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 10 days in an air tight container, or frozen for up to 60 days. You can also jar / can your tomato sauce in a glass mason jars.

What is the difference between red tomato sauce vs. marinara sauce? This recipe creates the traditional style light and fresh tomato sauce used for hundreds of years, originating in the Naples region of Italy. There are excellent recipes for sauces in the marinara family, which are cooked, often have meat and fats, and are beautifully rich tasting.

Is this red tomato sauce recipe vegan? Yes! This is considered a vegan red tomato sauce recipe.

What are San Marzano tomatoes? San Marzano tomatoes originate from the small town of San Marzano sul Sarno, near Naples, Italy. Today, it is not possible for that region to supply the world demand for “San Marzanos”, but the Italian government does a good job of regulating quality and utilizes a D.O.P (Denominazione di Origine Protetta, meaning “Protected Designation of Origin”) symbol on tomatoes that still meet the high standard of a true San Marzano. Be wary and read the labels. Central California grows a very good substitute, and calls them “San Marzano Style” tomatoes. Be aware of what you’re buying and don’t be fooled.

How much red tomato sauce should I put on my pasta? The type of pasta depends a lot on this. If the pasta has holes (penne pasta) you can put less sauce since the tomato sauce will absorb better. If the pasta does not have holes (like linguine pasta) then the spaghetti sauce will be absorbed less.

Chef Cindy Mooney

With a personal mission to spread the good name of nutrition through mouthwatering recipes, Chef Cindy's philosophy around nutrition is deeply rooted in food as medicine. In the kitchen, she offers a conscious, restorative, and functional approach to cooking; an approach she has cultivated during her years working in farm-to-table restaurants.