Classic Tomato Sauce

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 you can add more vegetables, cheese, ground meat, or even anchovies. This all-purpose tomato sauce is also excellent with meatballs or on polenta, rice, or barley, or as a pizza sauce. It can even go on burgers instead of ketchup!

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


Cutting board
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Large skillet
Measuring spoons
Can opener
Measuring cup
Wooden spoon
Large spoon
Box grater (adult needed)


1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
2 unit
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 unit (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, including the liquid
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your equipment and ingredients and put them on a counter.

  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.
  3. Top with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.