It’s quite common to see a pot of sauce simmering on the stove in an Italian kitchen. I try to make sauce on Monday’s. But if you work during the week then whip it up on the weekend. It’s just a few ingredients but it goes a long way. Or if your work schedule is tight, then an alternative would be to put all your ingredients in a slow cooker, purée it, set it and go or at the end of the day when it’s cooked mashed it with a potato masher.

My mother-in-law taught me how to make and preserve my own sauce. So for years I would buy bushels of ripe Roma tomatoes and would make my sauce for the year. But when we moved to Belize I didn’t have the equipment to make large quantities of sauce and the availability of ripe Roma tomatoes was unpredictable. So I would buy ripe tomatoes & make fresh sauce just for the day or put it in the blender for lasagna or baked pasta dishes.  Eventually I found 100 oz tins of whole tomatoes. For my Belizean followers, you can find the 100 oz tins at Super Buy on Ambergris Caye or in Belmopan and Belize City at Brodies. I haven’t yet found the 100 oz tins in Placencia.

The benefit of using whole tomatoes from a tin is not just the scale but also the consistency. Since most manufacturers sell just whole stewed tomatoes (whole or chopped) you can buy those & have a pot of sauce going for many different uses. And not just pasta dishes. Add a few cups for you chill, half a ladle for roasted potatoes, pizzas, addition to soups, when making roast beef. The list goes on!

Traditional Tomato Sauce

This sauce will be so useful as a base for many other dishes, including pizza's and calzones, lasagna's, baked pastas, rosé sauce and more!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 Cups


  • 3 tbsp olive oil Or grapeseed oil
  • 1 Large Cooking (Yellow) Onion Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 100 Fluid Ounces (2.84 Litre) Whole Tomatoes Make sure its just the tomatoes, not sauce. Remade sauce has a lot of additives to it.
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 tbsp Dried Oregano To reactivate your herbs, rub them in between your hands before adding to dish
  • 1 tbsp Dried Basil Rub basil as you did with oregano.
  • Salt & Black pepper to taste


  • Roughly chop onion and garlic.
  • On medium, heat one 1 tbsp olive oil or grapeseed oil in a large pot. To this add onions and cook 3 minutes. Then add garlic and cook a further 3 minutes.
  • Add whole tomatoes to onion mixture. Use 1 cup of water to rinse out tin and add to tomatoes. Stir well.
  • With an immersion blender (or alternatively a blender) purée tomatoes till fine and smooth.
  • Add salt, oregano, basil, 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Lower heat and simmer for 4 hours. Add more salt and/or pepper to taste.
  • Before serving add last tbsp of olive oil. Stir well and serve.