Basic Pasghetti Sauce


  • Makes3 to 3 servings

Here's the simplest sauce you'll ever come across. It's fast, easy, delicious and cheap, and can be used in any recipe that calls for spaghetti sauce - even pizza. It's fairly smooth, but can be run through a blender or food processor after cooking, if necessary.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1/2 medium red or green sweet pepper, chopped

  • 1 796-mL can ground plum tomatoes, or crushed plum tomato

  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crumbled

  • 1/2 tsp dried basil, crumbled

  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped (optional - it leaves green flecks)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and red or green pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes, until softened. Pour in the ground tomatoes, oregano, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. That's basically it.

  • Meat sauce: Brown ½ lb. (250 g) lean ground beef along with the vegetables at the beginning of the recipe. Continue as above.

  • Veggie sauce: Add up to a total of 1½ cups (375 mL) any vegetables - mushrooms, diced zucchini, diced carrot, diced eggplant, whatever - and saut‚ with the onions at the beginning of the recipe. Continue as above.

  • Chunky tomato sauce: Use a can of diced instead of ground tomatoes to make the sauce. Mash the chunks up as the sauce cooks.

This article was originally published on Nov 01, 1999

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