Quick Tomato Sauce
Recipe by Chef Heidi Fink
Heidi Fink

Quick Tomato Sauce

  • Prep time 15 mins
  • Cook time 15 mins
  • Ready in 30 mins
  • Yield 3 cups

Saving some of the herbs and olive oil to stir in at the end gives this quick-cooking sauce a fresh and tantalizing flavour, good enough to stand on its own. This sauce freezes well.



  1. Prepare the tomatoes by pouring the contents of the can (both the tomatoes and their juice) into a blender and process until almost pureed. Alternatively, use a jar of tomato passata, which is already pureed.
  2. Place 2 Tb of the olive oil, all the garlic, 2 Tb of the basil, 2 Tb of the parsley, and chili flakes (if using) together in a saucepan. Now turn on the heat to medium – low and heat gently, stirring frequently, until the oil warms and the garlic and herbs start to sizzle and become fragrant. DO NOT LET THE GARLIC BROWN. The moment the garlic and herbs smell the way you like, immediately add the tomatoes, with their juice, to the pan. Stir to mix, add the salt and stir again.
  3. Increase heat to medium – high and bring the tomatoes to a simmer. Decrease heat to medium – low, stir in the sugar, and simmer, uncovered, until tomatoes have broken down a bit and sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. The sauce will seem a bit runny.
  4. Stir in the remaining basil and parsley. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1 Tb extra virgin olive oil. Taste to adjust for acidity and salt, adding more sugar to adjust the acidity, if necessary, or salt.
  5. Serve immediately over pasta or polenta, or store in the refrigerator up to 5 days. This sauce freezes well.



  1. Use the recipe for Italian Meatballs to make the meatballs.
  2. Cook the sauce up to the end of step 3 (above).
  3. When the meatballs come out of the oven, place them in the tomato sauce, along with all their cooking juices, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Now finish step 4 of the sauce recipe (adding the remaining herbs and olive oil).

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