Easy Italian Sugo Al Pomodoro Recipe

Italian sugo al pomodoro is the secret to many traditional Italian dishes. Make a large batch in peak tomato season, or cook it year-round as the need arises with this easy canned tomato sauce recipe. Sugo is Italian for sauce, meaning that sugo al pomodoro is just pure, unblemished and unadulterated tomato sauce, just like nona used to make.

Most Italian sugo recipes start with fresh, in-season Roma tomatoes, also known as Italian tomatoes. These would be cooked down with garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil. This concoction would be blended, canned, and preserved in cold rooms until it was needed once more. That's all fine and great in Italy, where tomato season lasts for a long, long time. In North America, it would be absurd to expect us to make sugo only when tomatoes are at their peak, but thanks to canned tomatoes, we don't have to wait.

Make this recipe with fresh tomatoes or canned Italian tomatoes, and enjoy the flavors of Italy for weeks to come. 

Gather the ingredients for easy Italian sugo al pomodoro

To make this simple, classic sauce, all you need is a can of tomatoes, some garlic cloves, olive oil, fresh basil, and salt and pepper. You can also use fresh tomatoes when in season, and dried basil if neccesary.

There is some debate on whether onions belong in classic sugo al pomodoro, but because onions have a low acidity, they are traditionally avoided in recipes meant for canning and preserving, as it was originally intended.

Cook the ingredients

Heat a medium saucepan over medium. Add the olive oil, and heat for 1 minute, until shiny. Add the minced garlic, and sautée for 1 minute. Add tomatoes to the saucepan, and cook for 20 minutes, until they have softened considerably, and can be squished with a spoon. Add the basil, then turn off heat, and let sauce cool for 5 to 10 minutes, until the basil is wilted.

Blend and season the sauce

Transfer the sauce to a blender, or use an immersion blender. Purée the sauce to your desired consistency (we like ours fairly smooth, since chunks in canned sauce can become magnets for bacteria). Season with salt and pepper, and stir again. Taste, and add more seasoning as needed.

Serve the sugo al pomodoro

Presto — your sugo al pomodoro is ready. This classic Italian staple sauce can be used with pasta, as a base for pizza, or as a layering sauce in lasagna. Easy Italian sugo al pomodoro will keep in a jar in the fridge for 1 week. You can also can it for longer preservation.

To freeze sugo al pomodoro, pour the sauce into a large ziplock bag. Seal the bag tightly, lay it on a baking sheet, and transfer it to the freezer to chill. Then, remove sauce from the sheet pan after it's been fully frozen, and stand it upright. 

Easy Italian Sugo Al Pomodoro Recipe
5 from 26 ratings
A good tomato sauce can make or break a dish, and this Italian sugo al pomodoro recipe will add an authentic twist to your meal.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
6
servings
sauce in jar with basil plant
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can of Roma or fire-grilled tomatoes, or 4 cups of diced Roma tomatoes
  • 8 leaves fresh basil, sliced thinly (or 1 tablespoon dried basil)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
Directions
  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium. Add the olive oil, and heat for 1 minute. Add garlic, and sautée for 1 minute.
  2. Add the tomatoes to the saucepan, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until they have softened considerably, and can be squished with a spoon.
  3. Add the basil, turn off heat, and let sauce cool for 5 to 10 minutes, until the basil is wilted.
  4. Transfer the sauce to a blender, or use an immersion blender. Purée the sauce to your desired consistency.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, and stir again. Italian sugo al pomodoro will keep in a jar in the fridge for 1 week.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 86
Total Fat 7.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.8 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Total Sugars 3.5 g
Sodium 329.0 mg
Protein 1.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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