Recipe - basic tomato sauce - The Student Room

Basic Tomato Sauce


(For two or three servings)


  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes AND/OR tomato puree AND/OR tomato pasata (comes in bottles)
  • 1 small onion
  • Olive or vegetable oil

Seasoning/Flavouring (optional):

  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • Oregano, Basil (both fairly cheap - ~50p for a small container at Tesco)
  • Pepper
  • Salt


  1. Chop onion finely (chop in half, then make parallel cuts in one direction while holding the piece together, rotate ninety degrees, make another series of parallel cuts)
  2. Put enough oil in pan to just coat base and fry onions (and crushed garlic if used) lightly for a few minutes
  3. Add tinned tomatoes (or equivalent) and seasoning
  4. Simmer for 5-10 minutes


There are several alternatives to the basic recipe

Tomato and vegetable

Add cubed carrots and celery (around 3 medium carrots and a couple of sticks of celery) to onions after they have been fried for a minute or so and fry vegetables for a further five minutes stirring regularly. Simmer for an extra five minutes.


Add mince with onions and fry until browned. Simmer for an extra five minutes. Also goes well with vegetables (carrot and celery).

Chilli con Carne

As bolognaise plus add tin of drained kidney beans with tomatoes and add level teaspoon (or adjusted taste...) of crushed chilli/chilli powder (and cumin powder if wanted).

Pesto and tomato

Add a few teaspoon of pesto with the tomatoes.

Thanks must go to user -Matt- for these recipes