Tomato Pasta Sauce

Shhhh, I have a guilty secret! I taste test so much when cooking that sometimes I don’t feel like eating when it comes to supper time! When that happens I make Tomato Pasta Sauce.

Today’s inspirational recipe from Lavender and Lime ♥ Tomato Pasta Sauce ♥ #LavenderAndLime Share on X

I love to create savoury dishes as they are all about the process. They take time and most dishes can be left to simmer and have the flavours develop over a long time. As I go along, I taste what I am cooking, and add whatever ingredient, spice or herb, that I think will go perfectly with what I have already cooked. I like this process of adding to a dish and thereby letting it evolve into something I want to serve. This of course means a lot of tasting goes into my cooking. I taste after every addition, which can be quite a lot of mouthfuls when I am making a casserole or stew. My favourite meal to cook has always been pasta. It is easy to do, and it should not take longer to make the sauce than it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta. I like to limit myself to 5 ingredients, that way the sauce has a concentrated flavour. In order to make a great pasta sauce you have to have a really good base. As the base to most of my pasta dishes I prefer a really tasty tomato sauce. And by this, I don’t mean ketchup! I mean a tomato sauce that you have let simmer for hours. This concept of a sauce simmering for hours is the mainstay of Italian cooking. It however does not suit my lifestyle during the week when I am ‘time poor’ and so I need something ready made that I can rely on; a good base in order to build a great sauce on. This recipe to me is ideal. You can make a huge batch on the weekends and then freeze it. If you have young children freeze it in an ice cube tray and then you only need to take one or two blocks out when making a quick pasta dish for them. I keep a few lock and go containers in the freezer and take them out as I need them. Adjust the seasoning to suit your palate, add a few more ingredients to the base, and hey presto, you have pasta!

Is there something you do while cooking supper that makes you not want to eat?

Tomato Pasta Sauce
Tomato Pasta Sauce
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Tomato Pasta Sauce

Recipe Category: Italian, Sauces
Makes enough for: 4 people
All Rights Reserved: an original recipe from Lavender and Lime


  • 15 mls olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 chilli, cut in half
  • 1 x 800g tin whole tomatoes
  • 15 mls red wine vinegar
  • 5 mls Canderel Yellow 0%
  • 5 mls dried marjoram
  • 5 mls dried basil
  • 5 mls dried thyme
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 125 mls red wine


  • Heat the oil in a pot and sauté the onions, garlic and chilli until the onions are soft
  • Remove the chilli unless you like your meals with a bite
  • Add the tomatoes, vinegar, Canderel Yellow 0%, and herbs
  • Season to taste, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour
  • Do not break up the tomatoes
  • Add the wine and leave the lid off and simmer for 1 hour
  • Break up the tomatoes and adjust the seasoning
  • Now you have a lot of sauce ready for use
Click on the links for conversions and notes.

This post was commissioned and paid for in conjunction with the Canderel Yellow “What’s Your Guilty Food Secret?” Competition. 

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43 thoughts on “Tomato Pasta Sauce

  1. Tandy, your guilty secret makes me feel better because so do I 🙂 Tomato sauce: what would I do without it? When the children were young- and way too choosy- I used to put in courgettes and peppers so that when the sauce was pureed the children would not notice the veg going in! I have a vat of it in the fridge right now, but it does not include the red wine or red wine vinegar. Time to go off and make a new experimental batch. Thanks!

    1. That is such a clever way of getting your kids to eat vegetables. I used to do the same when I made mince as Dave’s kids are not big veggie eaters 🙂

  2. That past sauce sounds really good, and much better than the bought kind. Thanks for the recipe, Tandy. There are certain ingredients which need replenishing far too often, because I eat them whilst I’m cooking. eg: cheese, nuts, seeds, dried fruit etc. 😉


  3. I always taste test because I never measure anything it is a dash of I I I I always taste my food as it is cooking as I never measure it is and a dash of that. However, I am sure it is difficult to resist this sauce smelling it simmer all day over the stove I would have a guilty secret as well.

  4. I usually test-taste as I’m cooking, and then one last time just before dishing-up. Flavours can often change quickly due to evaporation, so tasting is something everyone should do, imo. This sauce looks perfect for so many things, including for pizza sauce — maybe reduced a slight bit more than for what’s used on pasta. Great article, Tandy!

  5. Haha I totally understand your secret – my mum is constantly scowling when I say I am way to full for dinner on cookies 😉
    But not a dinner like yours!

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. thank you Lorraine – I have to admit that this photo was a hasty one as the smell was so good, I had to eat the pasta straight away 🙂

  6. I sometimes do that too! It is easy to have a taste, then another, then another. Just tom make sure it is right you understand. A classic tomato sauce is always great on pasta & mine is very similar to yours except I add lots of fresh basil instead of dried herbs. Lots of wine too. Yum!

  7. I sometimes do that too! It is easy to have a taste, then another, then another. Just tom make sure it is right you understand. A classic tomato sauce is always great on pasta & mine is very similar to yours except I add lots of fresh basil instead of dried herbs. Lots of wine too. Yum!

    Tinned Tomatoes
    no matter what wordpress tries to call me. I need a lesson

    1. I add fresh basil as well when I can get it! I think you should migrate your blog to wordpress and then it will know who you are LOL! Hope you are well and I must see why you are not showing up in my reader. It has got confused somewhere. Have a super weekend 🙂

  8. I have to say, not much puts me off eating! If I’m having a big party or meal and I’ve been cooking all day it sometimes puts me off (but only a little 😉 ) Love the sauce recipe, it’s pretty much how I make mine too!

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