Chef John's Tomato Sauce Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Chef John's Tomato Sauce  Recipe
1 Photo
Chef John’s Tomato Sauce
See how Chef John makes his delicious, all-purpose tomato sauce. See more
  • READY IN 2 hr

Chef John's Tomato Sauce

Recipe by  

"This is one of my most requested food wishes, my all-purpose basic tomato sauce. Whenever I make a meat sauce, this is my base. You can only stir this with a wooden spoon, otherwise it's bad luck."

Back
Next
+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings

Directions

  1. Place olive oil, onion, celery, and a pinch of salt into a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Cook until onions are very soft, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix garlic into onion mixture and cook just until fragrant, about 1 more minute.
  2. Pour tomatoes and their juice into a large mixing bowl and use your hands to crush the tomatoes until they look pureed.
  3. Mix sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, anchovy paste, white wine vinegar, Italian herbs, and red pepper flakes into vegetable mixture. Raise heat to medium and cook just until liquid has evaporated. Stir in tomato paste and bring to a simmer. Pour in San Marzano tomatoes and parsley. Bring sauce to a simmer, turn heat to low, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, adding a little water as the sauce cooks down. Stir occasionally.
Kitchen-Friendly View
  • PREP 15 mins
  • COOK 1 hr 45 mins
  • READY IN 2 hrs
ADVERTISEMENT

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Dec 01, 2013

I've made this twice exactly as written, and it is excellent. I like to add a bit of brown sugar near the end of it's simmer time to counter the acid and add a mellow note. Then I began to play with it. Balsamic vinegar (white or red) is a nice substitution. I was out of celery once and no one noticed, so I don't bother with it anymore. They're also just as happy with my quick-cooked take on this which uses (don't judge!) dried minced onions and only simmers for 30 minutes. It's more of a dump-and-cook affair. It tastes almost exactly like the longer-cooking original with much less time and effort. Most of the time I do it quick, but sometimes I bring the love with fresh onions and let it simmer it all day. Fast or slow, this is amazing tomato sauce, on par with the best of the restaurant sauces.

 
Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 23, 2014

Since I live overseas I find it annoying that ingredients like these are used. In looking for a recipe for tomato sauce i was hoping for something from scratch. I can't find specialty items such as "2 28 ounce cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes". Only import stores where I live even carry tomato sauce and that is sporadic. I'll keep experimenting on my own.

 
Jan 15, 2014

This sauce has many uses. My wife doesn't like the anchovy paste, so I used beef soup base ("Better the Bullion") instead, before adding in my beef meatballs. She loved it. You could also use their chicken soup base if using chicken in your recipe.

 
Dec 13, 2013

A nice chunky tomato sauce. I think the 1/4 cup of oil is too much oil though. I couldn't get it to boil down to dry. Next time I will try 1/8 cup olive oil.

 
Feb 03, 2014

This is a great vegetarian sauce and the best meat sauce I've tried. An old Italian cook once said "you have to use your hands or it's no good". Maybe that's the secret but I think it's the anchovies and bit of sugar. I forgot the sugar once and it was a little flat and not as good. -- Coegee

 
Dec 04, 2013

Terrific base recipe, Chef. It is so easy to personalize that I keep a goodly amount in the freezer. You always share wonderful recipes and keep me busy in the kitchen.

 

Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:
ADVERTISEMENT

Nutrition

  • Calories
  • 116 kcal
  • 6%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 13 g
  • 4%
  • Cholesterol
  • < 1 mg
  • < 1%
  • Fat
  • 7.1 g
  • 11%
  • Fiber
  • 2.8 g
  • 11%
  • Protein
  • 2.2 g
  • 4%
  • Sodium
  • 722 mg
  • 29%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Go Pro!

In Season

Hop On Easter
Hop On Easter

Recipes for baked ham, deviled eggs, and oh-so-cute treats.

Fresh Spring Recipes
Fresh Spring Recipes

The best ways to enjoy what’s in season right now.

Subscribe Today!
Subscribe Today!

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and helpful cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for just $9.99!

Related Videos

Chef John’s Tomato Sauce

See how Chef John makes his delicious, all-purpose tomato sauce.

Chef John’s Butterless Béarnaise Sauce

See how to make a healthy, shortcut béarnaise sauce.

Chef John's Mayo Method Steak Sauce

Discover the formula for delicious, last-minute steak sauce.

Recently Viewed Recipes

 
ADVERTISEMENT
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States