Sugo Al Pomodoro (Classic Tomato Sauce)

4 Servings
55 min

I make this weekly and store in a Mason jar in the fridge and use it for an easy lunch or side to any main meal. It also freezes great. I receive countless compliments on the fresh, flavorful and light taste of this simple authentic recipe. Most canned pasta sauces are filled with a dozens of ingredients and spices. The overdone sauces complicate the pure sweet flavor of the tomato itself. The key is using the right kind of canned tomatoes. I suggest a few at the bottom of this post. Italian recipes are mostly simple. They typically highlight one main ingredient with a few other spices and sub ingredients (I just made up that term) to create just the right flavor combinations. I wrote this piece for a high school English class and it sums up my memories of this classic sugo al pomodoro that my nonna Laura made multiple times a week. Sweet Summer MorningsI remember the smell of onions roasting in olive oil at 8:00 in the morning. The hot and humid summer air slyly seep through the wooden door panes as the familiar smell of onions tickled my nose. I love onions but the smell of them this early continuously nauseates me.“Chiara, Chiara” I whispered from the top bunk (speaking in Italian of course). “Has the smell woken you yet?”“Agh, I never really feel asleep with all the snoring in this house”, a big sigh, “not to mention the 25 year old mattress that sucked in my entire body, I don’t know if I can move.”We both slumped out of bed and found our way to the small kitchen of our beach toen summer home. Nonna, my Italian grandmother, finished up with zucchini con cippole- an onion and zucchini side dish and started on the pasta al sugo- tomato sauce. As a real Italian woman the first thing she did when she got up was start cooking for lunch. After making our way through the hustle bustle of the kitchen we found our aunts, uncles, and little cousins surrounding the breakfast table in the back veranda. The air was sticky, but a slight salty breeze made its way from the beach 15 yards away. I looked to see wise Nonno Livio, my grandfather, sitting quiet in his chair at the head of the table reading the paper and observing his family. From his eyes I could tell this moment reflected perfection. As he looked at us the love of these summer mornings created tears in his eyes. He sat and enjoyed the noise of a reunited family. It's safe to say we all dreamed of moments like these all year long. I wonder why this moment felt so special when it mirrored normal life: our big Italian family with loud voices, laughter, and shouting from the kids. I wanted this moment always- not just on summer holidays. I always feel torn between my American and Italian life. Why should I have to choose, it isn’t fair. Too many people live in the same city as their relatives and neglect the opportunity to even see them. Do they realize the blessing? Sometimes, I wish I could wake up to the smell of roasting onions in olive oil every morning, so I could walk down those familiar steps and see my family around that table- together again to live another sweet summer morning.I hope you enjoy this simple recipe as much as my family has for multiple generations.Made with Amore,Elena

Pasta al Sugo di Pomodoro (Classic Tomato Italian Sauce)Fresh, tasty, pure tomato sauce. Simply delish and timeless.

Perfect with homemade Gnocchi!
So pretty even in the pot

The smell when it simmers on the stove is sensational!

Sugo Al Pomodoro (Classic Tomato Sauce)
Recipe details
  • 4  Servings
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 20-30 Minutes Total time: 55 min
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  • 1 yellow onion, chopped or cut into thin slices (depending on preference)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 large 28 oz can of good quality vine ripe tomatoes (such as San Marzano)
  • 5-6 leaves of fresh basil, whole and washed
  • Freshly grated parmigianno cheese for serving
Making the Sauce
In a large sauce pan sauté the onion in olive oil on medium heat
After the onion is translucent and slightly brown add the canned tomatoes
Cover with lid and let simmer on low-medium (the sauce should bubble, but not boil) for 20-30 minutes until some of the liquid slightly reduces
Stir occasionally
Turn off heat and add the basil to the sauce
Serve immediately with your favorite pasta or spaghetti
  • I often store this sauce in a Mason jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. I often triple the recipe and freeze in portions (I use freezer bags) so I always have some ready to go!
Elena  @mamamiammangia__
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  • Robin Robin on Sep 05, 2023

    I never thought of using onion in tomato 🍅 sauce, ill have too try this ❤️