Classic Tomato Sauce

Classic Tomato Sauce | ChopChop


Pasta is a staple in many homes, which makes homemade tomato sauce an essential recipe for families to learn. This recipe is basic, but once you master it your family can add more vegetables, cheese, some ground meat, or even anchovies to the sauce. This all-purpose tomato sauce is also excellent on polenta, rice, or barley, or as a pizza sauce. It can even go on burgers instead of ketchup!

Hands-on time: 45 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Makes: 6 Servings

Kitchen Gear: 

Cutting board
Large sharp knife (adult needed)
Large skillet
Measuring spoons
Measuring cup
Wooden spoon
Large cooking pot with lid
Colander or strainer
Large spoon
6- 8 serving bowls 


1 tablespoon
olive or canola oil
garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon
dried basil
1 teaspoon
dried oregano
(28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, including the liquid
1⁄4 cup
chopped fresh basil leaves
grated parmesan cheese
1 pound
dried whole-grain pasta



To make the sauce:

  1. Put the skillet on the stove and turn the heat to low. When the skillet is hot, add the oil. Add the garlic, dried basil, and oregano and cook until the garlic is just golden, 1–2 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook until the mixture just starts to boil. Turn the heat down to low and cook 15 minutes. Taste the sauce and add a pinch of salt if you think it needs it. Leave as is or mash it a bit to make it less chunky.

To make the pasta:

  1. While the sauce is cooking, fill the pot 2/3 full with water and put it on the stove (an adult may need to carry it). Cover the pot, set the heat to high, and bring it to a boil.
  2. Add the pasta. When the water returns to a boil, turn the heat down to medium and cook until tender, 10–15 minutes.
  3. Put the colander in the sink. Pour the pasta into the colander and drain it.
  4. Divide the pasta among serving bowls and top each with a few spoonfuls of sauce. Serve right away, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.



Note: If you’re using fresh tomatoes, they will need to cook longer: follow the instructions and cook until thickened, about 30–40 minutes.