Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce will make the entire family jazzed about spaghetti night again, and this amazingly flavorful sauce is easy to make!
Why We Love Homemade Pasta Sauce
- Spaghetti night is a weekly occurrence for most families, but it doesn’t have to be the same old same old! This tomato basil sauce is bursting with freshness and flavor!
- While “homemade” can sometimes mean lots of time, this sauce is super easy to make. It only takes about 25 minutes and uses simple ingredients that will make you say “Wow!”
- Sure, this pasta sauce can just be spooned over pasta, but make a few extra batches to freeze for the next chicken or eggplant parmesan night or to perfectly complement your next craving for homemade ravioli.
- Top your pasta with chicken, or shrimp, or make it a “meatless Monday” dish and taste how wonderful this tomato sauce is on all of your pasta dishes.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
PRODUCE: To make this tomato sauce, you will need two cans of petite diced tomatoes and a lemon. Bring tons of flavor to the sauce with freshly chopped Italian parsley, minced garlic, thinly sliced scallions (separate the white from the green), and basil that has been chiffonade.
SEASONING: You will also be using salt and pepper in this recipe to bring out more flavor.
BUTTER/OIL: You will need salted butter and a little olive oil for this sauce as well. If you don’t have salted butter, unsalted is fine. Just be sure to add another 1/8 teaspoon of salt to the sauce.
PASTA: Pick out your favorite pasta to serve with this sauce, and cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
How to Make Pasta SauceJump to Recipe
STEP 1 Add the butter and oil to a medium skillet and once hot, add the scallion whites, garlic, and parsley. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often.
STEP 2 Add the diced tomatoes, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to the pan and stir. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
STEP 3 Mix in the basil and scallion greens and remove the pan from the heat.
STEP 4 Spoon the homemade pasta sauce over cooked pasta and top with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese if you like.
Tips & Tricks
- So, how do you chiffonade basil? Stack your basil leaves and then roll them like a little cigar. With a sharp knife, thinly slice the rolled basil. You will now have small ribbons of fragrant basil!
- This tomato basil pasta sauce is amazing when it’s hot but it’s also unbelievably good at room temperature or even cold!
- Store any leftover sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.
How to Thicken Pasta Sauce
If your pasta sauce is looking thin, the best way to thicken it is to let it keep simmering. Letting the sauce simmer for longer not only thickens the sauce but makes the flavors more robust as well.
If you don’t have time to let it simmer, try mixing 2 teaspoons of cornstarch into 1/4 cup of water. Once combined, add the slurry to the sauce and stir. You can also use flour instead by adding 2 tablespoons of flour to 1/4 cup of water.
Another way to thicken the sauce is to add a little of the reserved pasta water. Hold on to 1 cup of the water you boiled your pasta in and start by adding 1/4 cup to the sauce. Let that simmer and if it is still too thin, add 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you like. The pasta starches in the water will help to thicken the sauce as the water cooks out.
Pasta Sauce Recipe FAQ
What’s the difference between marinara and tomato basil sauce?
The two sauces are very similar and can actually be used almost interchangeably. Marinara has more of a bright tomato flavor and is much thinner than tomato basil sauce because marinara is not cooked as long. When making tomato basil sauce, the longer simmer time not only creates a thicker sauce but also brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
What adds flavor to pasta sauce?
The key to a really flavorful pasta sauce is always fresh herbs! Fresh basil, thyme, and parsley are all great herbs to add that are easy to find in any grocery store. Dried herbs like oregano, tarragon, or sage add a lot of flavor too and if you don’t have fresh herbs, all dried herbs are always great to use instead. Don’t forget the salt and pepper, along with more garlic and a little dried red pepper flakes for a super knock-out sauce!
What are the different types of pasta sauce?
There are a variety of pasta sauces available, ranging from tomato-based to cream based. Marinara, Pomodoro, Bolognese, Arrabiata, and Amatriciana are all tomato-based pasta sauces, with a traditional Vodka sauce landing in the middle with its spicy creaminess. Cream pasta sauce examples are Cacio e Pepe, Bechemel, Alfredo, and Carbonara.
Certain kinds of pasta complement particular pasta sauces better than others but there is no shortage of options. With all of the choices available when it comes to pasta and sauce you could probably create a different meal every day of the year!
Other Recipes You May Like
- Fettuccini Alfredo
- Copycat Buca Di Beppo Penne San Remo
- Sun Dried Tomato & Balsamic Shrimp Pasta
- Chicken Glorioso Pasta Bake
- Pork Ragu Fettuccini
Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
- 4 tablespoons salted butter (see note)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 green onions thinly sliced, greens and white separated
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley chopped
- 56 ounces canned petite diced tomatoes not drained (2 cans)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 16 leaves fresh basil chiffonade
- Cooked pasta for serving
- Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and oil to the pan. Once the butter is melted, add the white parts of the onions, garlic, and parsley to the pan. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomatoes, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and stir everything until combined.
- Bring to a simmer and then simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add the fresh basil and green parts of the onions to the sauce. Stir to combine.
- Take off the heat and serve with pasta of your choice. We like to add a big sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top too.
- If you don’t have salted butter on hand, you can use unsalted butter and add an extra 1/8 teaspoon salt to the sauce when you add the salt and pepper.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or freezer for up to 3 months.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.