Chunky herbed tomato sauce

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20 min


12 cups (3 L), for 12 servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 medium onions
  • 6 garlic cloves , or 125-g bottle chopped garlic, about 1/2 cup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 796-mL cans tomatoes , including juice
  • 396-mL can tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp dried basil leaves
  • 2 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp hot red-chili flakes
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar , optional
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley , or basil leaves


  • Finely chop carrots, celery and onions into 1/4-inch (0.5-cm) pieces. Mince fresh garlic. Heat oil in a large wide saucepan set over medium heat. When hot, stir in carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Stir often until onions are soft, from 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pour tomatoes and their juice into a bowl. Using your hands or a potato masher, roughly break up tomatoes. Once onions are soft, stir in tomato paste. Stir often until vegetables are well coated, about 3 minutes. Pour in water. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any bits from bottom of pan. Add tomatoes and their juice, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) chili flakes, if using. If you like a spicy sauce, stir in remaining chili flakes. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil, stirring often. Then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavours have blended, about 15 minutes. Taste and stir in sugar, if needed. Remove from heat. For a smoother and thicker consistency, pour a third of sauce into a food processor. Pulse until fairly smooth. Add to sauce in pan. Stir in parsley. Sauce will keep well, covered, in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Or freeze in small batches up to 1 month.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 107,
  • Protein
  • 3.8 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 19.2 g,
  • Fat
  • 3.1 g,
  • Fibre
  • 4.5 g,
  • Sodium
  • 462 mg.

No pasta lover can resist a fragrant, home-made tomato sauce. Delicious on its own or as a base for flavourful additions, this classic Italian sauce uses ingredients you probably already have in the cupboard.

Homemade Spagetti and Meatballs:

Heat 6 cups (1.5 L) of our chunky herbed tomato sauce in a large saucepan set over medium heat. When hot, stir in 1 pound (500 g) frozen or freshly made meatballs. Cover and stir often until meatballs are hot or cooked through, from 10 to 15 minutes. Toss with a 450-g package cooked spaghetti. Makes 6 small servings