Ah tomato sauce. There's nothing better than a big bowl of pasta with fresh tomato sauce, and even better when it's homemade! The smell and taste of fresh garlic and simmered tomatoes is like nothing else in this world. It's such a simple, delicious recipe but one that is so, so easy to get wrong. If the flavours aren't balanced and you don't have high quality ingredients, it can make all the difference.
This recipe is my go-to homemade tomato pasta sauce recipe that I use on a regular basis as it's perfect for vegan batch cooking. It also works really well as a pizza sauce. What I love about it is just how easy it is to make, and how customisable! After many failed previous attempts (not adding garlic - what was I thinking?!), I figured out how to make this delicious sauce from scratch in under 30 minutes, with plenty to go around and leftovers.
One thing to remember about this recipe is that the quality of your tomatoes is EVERYTHING. Buy the best tinned/canned tomatoes you can afford, and better still if you have access to fresh tomatoes with a strong flavour feel free to substitute them instead of the tinned variety!
It sounds a little dramatic, but the quality of your tomatoes will make or break the sauce. (We've all been there: stirring a tin of tasteless tomatoes chunks in watery juice...ewww.) If you're not sure which brand of tomatoes to go for, try experimenting with a few (you'll notice they can vary wildly in quality). My personal favourite for price and quality is Whole Foods 365 Crushed Tomatoes with Basil. Also, ensure you use crushed and not chopped tomatoes, or you'll end up with a very lumpy sauce!
Finally, my other top tip is to use coconut oil for this sauce. While you can use any oil without a strong flavour (see my recommendations below), coconut oil gives the sauce a creaminess that other oils don't offer. It's totally your call, but in my opinion using coconut oil will take your sauce to the next level!
Easy Homemade Tomato Pasta Sauce (vegan & gluten-free)
- 1 796ml can crushed tomatoes
- 4 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (I like to use coconut oil, but any oil without a strong flavour can be used - it just won't be as creamy. Grapeseed, avocado oil, and some mild olive oils also work well.)
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 cup parsley, chopped
- Salt & Pepper
- ½ tightly packed cup sundried tomatoes
- ½ tightly packed cup artichoke hearts, quartered
- ½ tightly packed cup zucchini/courgette, sliced very thinly
- Your favourite gluten-free pasta
- Add all ingredients except the parsley and salt & pepper to a large pan and heat until it's bubbling.
- Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce with a lid on for 15 minutes.
- Add the parsley and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Check the taste of your sauce, and season if needed with salt and black pepper. Remove from the heat.
- Serve over your favourite pasta and add an extra sprinkling of parsley. Enjoy!
- If using sundried tomatoes, you'll likely want to reduce the amount of salt you add. Taste your sauce before adding extra!
- If you like a creamier sauce, try adding an extra tablespoon of coconut oil.