What to CookPastaCondiments & SaucesTomatoes

The Tomato Sauce That's Right for You (+ 14 Others to Try)

22 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!

If you have tomato sauce, you have dinner. Simmer it and poach an egg in it. Poach fish in it. Warm meatballs in it. Pour it over just-boiled pasta. Simply sop it up with bread. Done.

It's easy to turn to jarred sauces, but it's just as easy (and arguably more satisfying) to make your own. You need little more than tomatoes (fresh or canned) and a little butter or oil. Any other additions—a halved onion, like Marcella Hazan; a freckling of capers; fat handfuls of basil; more garlic than you think is a good idea—are up to you.

Advertisement

Not sure where to start? Here are 15 of our most favorite tomato sauces:

If your pantry's bare (or you just need an all-purpose workhorse):

Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

If you want fresh sauce but don't want to stand over the stove:

Ina Garten's Pasta alla Vecchia Bettola
Ina Garten's Pasta alla Vecchia Bettola

If eggs trump pasta when it comes to sauce accompaniments:

Eggs in Spicy Minted Tomato Sauce
Eggs in Spicy Minted Tomato Sauce

If you need a fresh sauce about 20 minutes from now:

Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce (Uova al Pomodoro)
Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce (Uova al Pomodoro)

If you want a Sunday-night meat sauce worthy of white tablecloths and garlic bread:

Nigel Slater's Really Good Spaghetti Bolognese
Nigel Slater's Really Good Spaghetti Bolognese

If you've got an eggplant lying around, too:

Pasta alla Norma (Eggplant and Tomato Pasta)
Pasta alla Norma (Eggplant and Tomato Pasta)

If you want something more Indian-leaning than Italian:

Tomato Curry Sauce
Tomato Curry Sauce

If no-cook's the name of the game:

Make the one on the left with canned tomatoes, and the one on the right with fresh!

Cold Sauce

Cold Sauce by Roxanne DeRosa

Raw Tomato Sauce (Salsa Cruda di Pomodoro)

Raw Tomato Sauce (Salsa Cruda di Pomodoro) by Emiko

If it's January (or all you have on hand are canned 'maters):

Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Farro for Winter
Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Farro for Winter

If you want super-concentrated tomato flavor:

Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce
Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce

If you want something that could go from pasta to grain salad to hors d'oeuvre to sandwich topper:

Half Roasted Tomato Salad with Salsa Verde
Half Roasted Tomato Salad with Salsa Verde

If sauce sounds less interesting than chunks of mingling roasted good things:

Roasted Tomatoes and Onions on Toast
Roasted Tomatoes and Onions on Toast

If you've got a mind to clean out the pantry:

Pasta Puttanesca
Pasta Puttanesca

If you're willing to push the definition of "sauce" to include the sweet and jammy:

Roasted Tomato Jam
Roasted Tomato Jam

What's your idea of the perfect tomato sauce? Chunky? Smooth? Spicy? Butter-gilded? Tell us in the comments.

Tags: tomato week, tomato sauce, marinara