Two Italian Restaurant-Style Red Sauce Recipes To Make At Home

Posted on: 12 November 2015

If you want to enjoy authentic-tasting Italian dishes at home, then one of the most important things you'll need to learn how to make is a good red sauce. Sauce out of a jar just won't cut it! Luckily, it is not too difficult to make restaurant-style Italian red sauce, as long as you have the right ingredients and a little patience. Here are two recipes that will give you a good start. One simmers away for hours, yielding the most authentic flavors, and the other is a quicker version that still comes out tasting amazing.

Half-Day Red Sauce


  • 20 - 25 large, red tomatoes (San Marzano, Roma or a similar variety)
  • 1 medium white onion, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup water


Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Drop the tomatoes, a couple at a time, into the water. Let them simmer for 30 seconds, and then remove them using a wire mesh strainer. Repeat this process until all of the tomatoes have been heated for 30 seconds. Let them cool until you can touch them safely, and then use your hands to peel off the skins. They should slide off easily.

Slice each of the tomatoes in half, and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Then, set the tomatoes aside.

Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a large pot. Then, add the minced onion and saute until tender. Add the garlic, and saute for an additional 2 - 3 minutes. Do not allow the garlic to brown.

Add the tomatoes, salt, sugar, vinegar and water to the pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and then reduce the heat to low. Allow the sauce to simmer for approximately 3 hours with the lid off. If it appears to be getting too thick, add a little more water.

Once the sauce has simmered for 3 hours, remove it from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree it into a smooth consistency. Then, stir in the basil and oregano. Return the sauce to a simmer, and simmer for another 30 minutes before serving.

Any sauce you do not use can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for 6 months.

Quick Red Sauce


  • 1 can whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded


Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the onion, and saute until tender. Add the garlic, and saute for another 2 minutes.

Drain about half of the liquid from the tomatoes (and discard it), and leave the other half with them. Use your hands or a potato masher to mash the tomatoes. Try to work most of them into small chunks, but leave a few larger chunks, too.

Add the tomatoes, cayenne pepper, sugar and salt to the skillet. If you like spicy sauce, feel free to add additional cayenne pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and the basil, and simmer for an additional 2 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted and incorporated.

Remove the sauce from the heat, and enjoy! Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

If you don't feel like cooking tonight but are still craving Italian food, check out a restaurant like Ynot Italian.