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Easiest Tomato Sauce for National Pasta Day

No matter how you celebrate National Pasta Day, one thing’s for sure: You should have this Easiest Tomato Sauce recipe on hand.

The easiest tomato sauce to serve with your pasta on National Pasta Day

National Pasta Day is October 17, and, we know, it seems like there’s a day for everything. Still, it’s hard to argue with pasta, and if you have a whole day to eat it and enjoy it, what’s the harm? Even better: If you miss National Pasta Day, you can still catch World Pasta Day on October 25.

Easiest Tomato Sauce

Italian tomatoes from Carmelina

There are plenty of ways to enjoy pasta, starting with just the simplest olive oil drizzle and maybe a little cheese. But if you want to feel like a real Italian, you should give this sauce a try. It’s very simple and quick. The only catch is that it only works if you have the best ingredients. And you know that for the best ingredients we’re going to recommend The Greatest Tomatoes from Europe.

(Here’s a really good explanation from our friends at Favorite Family Recipes about how to find the best canned tomatoes from Italy.)

Italian tomatoes

Of course, everyone and their grandmas have a different way of doing this. In fact, we’ve changed this up just a little bit from the way our friends at Greatest Tomatoes from Europe do it. But as long as you have top-tier ingredients – tomatoes, garlic, basil, a little salt, a pinch of sugar – you’re on track to create a delicious sauce.

Easiest Tomato Sauce Recipe

Easiest Tomato Sauce

A simple tomato sauce for pasta, made with the Greatest Tomatoes from Europe

Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword tomato sauce
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled Italian tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 5 to 6 fresh basil leaves
  • pinch of sugar
  • oregano to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 14 ounces spaghetti (or one pound, if that's how the spaghetti is packaged)


  1. Slice the tomatoes open, remove the seeds, and finely chop the tomatoes. Set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and sweat the garlic for a few minutes until soft and starting to caramelize. Add the tomatoes, half of the basil and a pinch of sugar. Season with salt and the oregano. Simmer over a gentle heat for at least 15 minutes, until the tomato pieces start to break down.

  3. Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water and bring the water to a rolling boil. Add the spaghetti. Cook the spaghetti, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired softness (Italians like it al dente, with a little bit of "bite"). Drain and mix with the sauce. Sprinkle the remaining basil over the top and serve immediately.  

Tomato Recipe Ideas

Once you have your sauce technique down, you’re on track to make some delicious Italian dishes. How about Pasta Puttanesca:

Or if you’re feeling really fancy… a Vegetarian Timpano?

Vegetarian Timpano

Or if you’re willing to broaden your definition of “pasta” for National Pasta Day, how about Authentic Italian Gnocci with Tomato Sauce:

Authentic Italian Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

Authentic Italian Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

No matter what you decide to make, we hope you get to celebrate National Pasta Day, and World Pasta Day too!

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