A simple homemade pomodoro sauce for pasta, lasagna, and more. You’ll never use the jarred sauce again once you know how to make tomato sauce from scratch! 

A large pan filled with bright red steaming pomodoro tomato sauce topped with fresh basil.

As you may or may not know, our family has a special love for all things Italian. Yummy Hubby has Italian heritage, while I lived in Florence to study Italian Renaissance art for a few months in college. And my passion for food really exploded during a cooking class in a restaurant basement with a lovely woman who spoke no English. We try to get back to Italy about every two years. Anyway, that’s all to say that we are no stranger to Italian food and pasta. 

I’ve shared several homemade tomato sauces here in the past. We went over How to Make Marinara with Fresh Tomatoes when my summer garden was exploding with tomatoes. We also did Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce loaded with veggies. I wanted to share how I often make pasta sauce on busy nights, so here it is! This easy, basic, no-fuss homemade pomodoro sauce tastes so much lighter, brighter, and fresher than the store-bought variety. It’s perfect on spaghetti, Mini Eggplant Pizzas, and Vegan Lasagna.

What is Pomodoro Sauce? 

The word pomodoro means tomato in Italian. Pomodoro sauce is a simple tomato sauce that’s used for pasta, pizza, and more. I’ll be referencing this recipe for a couple of upcoming dinner recipes. Pomodoro sauce is often smoother than marinara and has lighter seasonings. According to Chowhound, pomodoro sauce should be smoother and thicker, whereas marinara can be chunky and runny. Other Italian pomodoro recipes include my favorite authentic Tuscan Tomato Bruschetta and Papa al Pomodoro. Tomatoes are clearly a big deal in Italy. 

How to Make Homemade Pomodoro Sauce

The ingredients for pomodoro sauce on a wooden cutting board: a bowl of whole peeled tomatoes, fresh basil, onion, garlic, fresh oregano, and salt.

The ingredients in this homemade pomodoro sauce are few and simple. The staples of pomodoro sauce are: tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and basil. I like to add a little oregano and onion. If you have homegrown plum tomatoes, learn How to Freeze Tomatoes, and use them in this recipe. 

Onions, garlic, and fresh oregano saute in a pan with a wooden spoon.

Step 1: Saute a diced onion in some olive oil in a medium-large saucepan until softened. Add sliced garlic and some fresh or dried oregano, and a little salt to the onions. 

A pan filled with pomodoro sauce before it simmers on the stove sits on a wooden cutting board with fresh basil.

Step 2: While the onions are cooking, crush the tomatoes. You can use your hands, a potato masher, or chop them up. Add the tomatoes and juices to the pan. 

Step 3: Let the pomodoro sauce simmer away, first covered, then uncovered to thicken.  I like to add a dash of red pepper flakes too. 

An Italian pottery bowl filled with spaghetti with pomodoro sauce and fresh basil.

Step 4: Blend the pomodoro sauce in the blender until smooth, or use chunky. Serve over your favorite pasta. If using pomodoro sauce for pizza, I would recommend blending smooth and simmering until very thick. 

A pan filled with homemade pomodoro sauce and basil sits on a grey surface next to a cutting board topped with cooked eggplant rounds.

How to Use Pomodoro Sauce 

Find out how to make Pomodoro sauce. This simple Italian tomato sauce is perfect with pasta, lasagna, eggplant, and more. Find out what pomodoro sauce is, pomodoro vs. marinara, and get the easy recipe for pomodoro sauce.

Yield: Serves 6

Pomodoro Sauce

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

A simple homemade Italian pomodoro sauce, or tomato sauce, perfect for pasta, lasagna, eggplant parmesan, and more.

Pomodoro Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, or 1/4 cup fresh leaves
  • 1 (28-oz) can/jar/box whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • handful fresh basil leaves


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion with the olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and continue to saute another few minutes until the garlic has softened. Meanwhile, crush the tomatoes with your hands or puree in the blender for a smoother sauce.
  2. Add the tomatoes and juices to the pan. Season with a pinch of salt and the red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and continue simmering until the sauce has thickened to desired consistency, about 10 minutes more.
  3. Stir in the basil (can be whole leaves or torn pieces) and season to taste with more salt and pepper. You can serve this sauce chunky, or carefully blend it in the blender.
  4. Serve your pomodoro sauce warm with your favorite pasta, as a sauce for lasagna, eggplant parmesan, on pizza, etc.


This makes a nice amount for a pasta dinner. If you're making a lasagna or larger dish, I recommend doubling this recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 60Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 100mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.