Simple tomato sauce

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
30 mins to 1 hour

You can make this tomato sauce recipe with either fresh or canned tomatoes . If using fresh, make sure they have a good deep colour and are juicy with lots of flavour.

By Rick Stein

From Rick Stein's Spain


  • 125ml/4fl oz olive oil
  • 225g/8oz onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g/14oz skinned, chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml/5fl oz water
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp sugar


  1. Heat the olive oil in a wide shallow pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 15 minutes, stirring every now and then, until soft and sweet and very lightly golden-brown.

  2. Add the tomatoes, water, bay leaves, salt and sugar, bring to the boil, lower the heat and leave to simmer very gently, uncovered, stirring now and then, for 45 minutes to one hour until it has almost reduced to a purée. Leave to cool slightly then remove the bay leaves, tip into a food processor and blend until smooth.

  3. Leave to cool, cover and refrigerate or freeze until needed.

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