Recipe-Free Homemade Pasta Sauce

You can’t eat homemade pasta with sauce from a jar! It’s easy to make a fresh sauce from ingredients you already have available.

by Dani Yokhna

Recipe-Free Pasta Sauce - Photo by iStock/Thinkstock (

A basic homemade red sauce is a simple and tasty addition to your homemade pasta. Quantities and ingredients vary according to what you’ve got on hand. Use the simpler’s method, and leave the tomato skin and seeds intact instead of trying to remove them.

This sauce can be eaten immediately, stored in the fridge for a few days or frozen for longer storage. It is not meant for canning.

Yield: Make as little or as much as you want with the ingredients found in your garden or refrigerator.


  • ripe tomatoes, chunked
  • olive oil
  • herbs (basil, thyme, et cetera)
  • minced garlic
  • chopped onion
  • sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • shredded or chopped vegetables, such as summer squash, peppers, eggplant or zucchini (optional)
  • chopped spinach (optional)
  • chopped or diced meat (optional)


In saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once oil starts to shimmer, add onions and garlic, and sauté until translucent and tender. Add chunks of tomatoes and any other ingredients except for herbs.

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are well-incorporated and juices are released. Add herbs, cover and simmer on low until all vegetables are tender and tomatoes have turned into chunky sauce.

If the sauce is too liquidy, simmer a while longer uncovered until the thickness you desire. Add salt to taste.

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