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This simple sauce is made with few ingredients and they must be all of very good quality. It’s my favorite recipe to use throughout the summer when my garden is full of red and ripe cherry tomatoes. In alternative you can use polpa (tomato pulp) or canned peeled tomatoes choosing cherry or San Marzano varieties. Use this sauce for seasoning your favorite pasta!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5 to 6 people


  • 500 g cherry or San Marzano tomatoes - red and ripe, chopped in small pieces
  • 2-3 cloves garlic - peeled and chopped
  • 5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a sauté pan, coat the bottom with extra virgin olive oil. Sauté garlic (chopped or crushed cloves) over medium heat until golden. Add the chopped tomatoes or the tomato pulp and season with salt.
  • Stir, cover with a lid and let it cook at low heat for about 15 minutes.
  • When sauce is cooked, season with more salt if needed and pepper.
  • While the sauce is cooking, bring your pasta water to a boil. Salt the boiling water very well, then add your pasta and cook it al dente. Drain the pasta very well, saving some cooking water should your sauce be too dense.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce in the sauté pan. Lower the heat and toss the pasta in the pan so that the pasta is well coated with the sauce. Season with fresh ground pepper and sprinkle some basil on top with a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.


  • You can use onion in place of garlic, or use both together. If you don’t like to eat garlic, just crush it, sauté in the extra virgin olive oil and remove before serving.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of sugar in case your sauce is too acidic. If the tomatoes are already sweet, you don’t need it. 
  • This sauce can be used immediately or refrigerated for 4-5 days.
  • All obtained by fresh and ripe tomatoes, this is the difference between tomato passata, tomato pulp, tomato sauce and tomato paste:
– Tomato passata is a tomato purée, without skin and seeds. The fresh tomatoes are crashed through a food mill to get a red and juicy sauce, then boiled to be preserved. The only ingredients you’ll read on the label are tomatoes and salt.
– Tomato pulp is made with fresh tomatoes, peeled , boiled and slightly crashed.
– Tomato sauce is made with tomato passata or pulp in addition to other plants and herbs such as celery and onion as well. When using it, put the sauce into a saucepan, reheat and season your pasta. The list of the ingredients on the label could be long.
– Tomato paste is a concentration of tomatoes obtained by a machine- made process where the tomatoes are crushed and treated to high temperatures. The result is a dense paste usually used to add color and flavor to recipes that need long cooking. To get 1 kg of paste, 5-6 kg of tomatoes are necessary.
When I buy canned tomatoes or pulp, I always buy them without the addition of other flavors or aromatic herbs. I want to add my flavors!
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