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Quick San Marzano Tomato Sauce

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This quick San Marzano tomato sauce is perfect for a family on-the-go. I make a batch on Monday and it becomes part of at least two meals throughout the week. It’s incredibly versatile and ridiculously easy to make.

San Marzano tomatoes are sweeter, less acidic, have more pulp and less seed than other types on Roma tomatoes. They are the perfect tomato for sauce making. I always used the canned variety because I don’t have a garden and the quality is consistently high. Also, I avoid the step of having to blanch/peel each tomato. However, feel free to use fresh San Marzano’s if you have that availability.

This sauce is great for simple pasta dishes, eggplant or chicken parmesan, adding to broth-based soups, meatballs, egg dishes, served with polenta, a base for curry, braised meat dishes, etc.


Extra Virgin Olive Oil1 oz., 28g, 2 tbsp.
Yellow Onion2 1/4 oz., 64g, 1/2 cup
Fresh Garlic1/2 oz., 14g, 1 tbsp.
San Marzano Tomatoes, Canned 28 oz., 794g
Kosher Salt3g, 1 tsp.
Black Pepper, groundto taste


(makes 4 to 6 servings)

The first step in making this quick San Marzano tomato sauce is to heat up the extra virgin olive oil in a medium-sized saucepot over low heat. Finely dice the yellow onion and add it to the pot.

Peel and finely mince the garlic and add it to the saucepot as well. Sweat the mixture for about five minutes or until the diced onions are soft and translucent. Keep an eye on the garlic and make sure you don’t burn the garlic during this step.

TIP: If your garlic starts to brown too quickly, lower the heat and add a teaspoon of water to the pan. Adding moisture will save the garlic before it burns.

Stir in the tomato paste. Continue to cook the mixture over low heat for an additional three to five minutes or until the paste turns rusty in color. Cooking the tomato paste in oil helps to unlock its robust flavor and it adds depth of flavor to the tomato sauce.

Next, add the can of San Marzano tomatoes to the saucepot, reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for fifteen to twenty minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

The whole tomatoes in the sauce will begin to soften up as they cook. Use a whisk and press down on the tomatoes to break them up into small pieces. I like this method because it allows you to control the chunkiness of your sauce.

Season the tomato sauce to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, then let it cool and reserve the sauce in the refrigerator for up to one week.