When you want something quick and simple for dinner, this Easy Tomato Pasta Sauce stirred through some spaghetti is about as simple (and delicious) as it gets. No need for any extra ingredients, although a little parmesan and black pepper on top goes a long way. A herby passata pasta sauce with a splash of balsamic vinegar that freezes well too.
I think that many of us are guilty of over complicating Italian food. In Italy, their food tends to be much more simple, and I think it is tastier because of it. We have kept this pasta sauce really simple with just a good quality passata, some fresh and dried herbs, garlic and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
There are plenty of other ingredients you could add to it, like vegetables, or meat, but if you want something quick and simple then this is a great base.
If you are looking for some other pasta recipes to try, then why not try our Leftover Chicken Pasta, Vegetable Pasta Bake, Sausage Pasta Bake or Smoked Salmon Pasta.
- Passata - A good quality passata is definitely required for this recipe. Cheaper ones can be a bit watery and tasteless. As this is a tomato sauce, you really want to taste the tomatoes.
- Onion and garlic - The base of the sauce. Use shallots if you would like a little sweeter taste.
- Basil and oregano - For that authentic Italian flavour.
- Balsamic Vinegar - Gives a lovely sweetness to the sauce and brings all the flavours together.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make tomato pasta sauce - Step by step
One: Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion and garlic. Gently cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
Two: Add the passata, herbs and balsamic vinegar and season.
Three: Stir and simmer for 10 minutes.
Four: Stir through cooked spaghetti and add Parmesan.
Watch our web story for a quick how-to of making this Easy Tomato Pasta Sauce.
Why should you try it?
- Super simple sauce with very few ingredient - You can make this passata pasta sauce with ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.
- Low in calories - There are just 70 calories a portion
- Healthier than a jar of pasta sauce - Jarred sauce has so many added ingredients. This is a simple sauce, without loads of added sugar and salt.
- Easy to adapt - We have given options for other ingredients to add.
- Freezable - Make extra and freeze for a quick and easy dinner.
This is an easy recipe, but of course it would be easier to just open a jar of store bought sauce. But, next time you are in the supermarket, take a look at the ingredients of some of those pasta sauces. Some (not all - there are some great options out there now) contain so much salt, sugar and unnecessary ingredients.
Making your own pasta sauce means you can control exactly what goes in to it and you can use just a pinch of salt to season it. The splash of balsamic gives it a little sweetness too.
What is passata?
Passata (or tomato puree as it is called in the US), is strained tomatoes (liquid tomato puree). It will come in a carton or tall glass jar and it is a store cupboard essential in our opinion, as it is the base of so many sauces that we make.
Passata is an uncooked tomato purée that has been strained of seeds and skins. If you can't find any passata, then an alternative would be to blend up a tin of tomatoes and then pass it through a sieve.
If you want to add something else to this tomato pasta sauce, then you could stir some spinach in just before serving. Also, some red chilli flakes is an easy way to add a kick of heat to it. If you wanted to hide some vegetables in to it, then you could blend some cooked carrots in to the sauce.
Store: You can store leftovers in an air tight container for up to 3 days.
Freeze: This freezes really well, but make sure it has fully cooled first. Put in freezer bags and lay them flat in the freezer and they will keep for up to 3 months.
Defrost: You can defrost the bags of tomato pasta sauce in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: Add the sauce to a saucepan and heat on low until piping hot.
Yes, this pasta sauce is vegan.
As long as you make sure there is no cross contamination, then this can be gluten free.
Yes, you can double the batch and it won't change the cooking time. Just make sure that you have a saucepan big enough for everything.
Yes, you can and then you can keep it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
If you wanted a creamy version of this, then you could stir in a heaped tablespoon of cream cheese before serving.
• You can use this simply stirred through pasta, as a spaghetti bolognese sauce or as a pizza base sauce.
• It freezes really well, so feel free to triple the recipe and batch cook it.
• This is a simple sauce, but you can use it as a base and add vegetables or meat to it. Cooking times will vary though.
• This is a vegan sauce, but some Parmesan or vegan alternative, is really nice sprinkled on top after cooking.
• If you like a smoother sauce, then you can blend it until smooth.
More sauce recipes
If you’ve tried this easy tomato pasta sauce, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
Tag us in your creations on Instagram @hungryhealthyhappy - Use the hashtag #hungryhealthyhappy too.
Easy Tomato Pasta Sauce
- 0.5 tablespoon Olive oil
- 0.5 Onion - diced
- 2 Garlic clove - crushed
- 2 tablespoon Fresh basil - chopped
- 1 teaspoon Dried oregano
- 250 g (9 oz) Passata
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- Heat 0.5 tablespoon Olive oil and cook 0.5 Onion and 2 Garlic clove until softened.
- Add 250 g Passata, 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar2 tablespoon Fresh basil and 1 teaspoon Dried oregano.
- Season with 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper, stir and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir through cooked spaghetti.
- You can use this simply stirred through pasta, as a spaghetti bolognese sauce or as a pizza base sauce.
- It freezes really well, so feel free to triple the recipe and batch cook it.
- This is a simple sauce, but you can use it as a base and add vegetables or meat to it. Cooking times will vary though.
- This is a vegan sauce, but some parmesan or vegan alternative, is really nice sprinkled on top after cooking.
Nicole @ The Granola Diaries
Love this!!! Looks so fresh and delicious!
This tasted so good! With such simple recipes, this will definitely become a staple for us!
Mmm sounds like a great midweek meal idea! Love pasta, me!
Thanks for this simple recipe, my boys love pasta but they always complain about what's in the jars, this will make a nice change.
Sometimes having just pasta and a sauce is so comforting to sit and eat x
I don't think you can beat a freshly made tomato sauce. I love making pasta sauces so will give it a try!
looks yummy. I am always after a new pasta sauce so will give this a try
Jenny - Monkey and Mouse
It looks delicious! I love pasta and so do the kids, it's always a hit! :) x
What a fabulously simple recipe, thanks for sharing!
I would never have thought of using those products. Thanks for sharing!
I'm a big fan of Cirio products and will go out of my way if necessary to get them when making something that requires something tomatoey - tinned, passata, paste. Congratulations on being their blogger ambassador - what a great gig!
I love the look of this - I really want to have a go, we have a lot of pasta. I am going to pin this, thank you. Kaz x
This looks so tasty! Thanks for sharing
You can't beat Cirio as they make cooking a meal so effortless and delicious, my cupboards are bursting with their products:-)
Completely agree that non-Italians often overcomplicate Italian food. Everything is either too muddled by too many ingredients or the flavours are overly concentrated. This looks like you're really paring back to the essential flavours.
I made my own sundried tomato pasta sauce the other day and it made such a difference - so much nicer than shop-bought varieties!
This looks very yummy. Would love to taste this.
We are going to Italy in the summer and I am most looking forward to the food. This has gotten me in the mood for it even more now.
We buy Cirio products too. Congrats on being an ambassador for them, I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
I am a terrible cook, but I think I could even manage this. I would have to add some chicken or something to it though.
I make my pasta sauces from scratch too and tend to use cirio too. It's much cheaper and I know exactly what's gone in it too. Love bec xx