pasta tomato sauce

Pasta with Tomato Sauce Recipe. All Variations

Pasta tomato sauce: There’s nothing more delicious than homemade!

And so versatile: whatever you might like to throw in will make it only more exciting. It is guaranteed to leave all (repeat: all) its store-bought pasta tomato sauce counterparts in the dust. So go for it and try all my suggestions! In pasta tomato sauce dishes, it’s OK to use tubular hollow-shaped pasta and let the sauce go into the holes, which wouldn’t do for rich cream-based sauces (for these we need to use flat pasta).

To my basic pasta tomato sauce recipe, I have included several variations:

Scroll down, you’ll be happy!



  • 1 pound penne, or other tubular pasta, gluten-free OK
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 2 ribs celery, peeled and cut in big chunks
  • 1 bunch flat parsley
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 4 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • Good pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


Bring water to boil with a little salt and oil in a large pot, preferably equipped with a strainer insert. Add the pasta and cook accordingly to manufacturer’s instructions. Take out the pasta, letting it drain, and reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Coarsely grind the onion and garlic in a food processor and add to the oil. Sauté until translucent. Coarsely grind the celery and parsley and add to the skillet, and sauté 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add all the remaining sauce ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook 30 minutes.

Transfer the pasta to a platter. Toss with the sauce, the reserved cooking liquid and freshly ground pepper. Serve hot. Makes 8 servings.

Pasta Tomato Sauce Variations: short and sweet selection please!

  • Throw in some grated Parmesan (watch the added salt).
  • Sauté some sliced mushrooms with the onion, garlic, etc.
  • Sauté some spinach or Swiss chard leaves or grated zucchini with the onion, garlic, etc.
  • Add some pitted, oil-cured olives (watch the added salt).
  • Add some capers (watch the added salt).
  • Add some dry white wine.
  • Add some sliced basil leaves.
  • Add some sun-dried tomatoes (watch the added salt).
  • Roast 2 to 3 garlic heads and mash the pulp into the sauce.
  • Add some sliced roasted red peppers, good-brand bottled OK.
  • Throw in some rinsed canned anchovies or dashi powder, but don’t add any salt to the sauce.
  • Go Tex-Mex and throw in some chopped cilantro, jalapeño, cumin, etc.
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