best natural foods

Pasta with a tomato sauce recipe

This page gives an index of pasta dishes that use a tomato sauce recipe.

They include tomato-based authentic Italian pasta recipes such as Spaghetti Bolognese, Linguine Vongole (the red version) and Seafood Marinara. They also include other, modern pasta dishes that I have either adapted from other pasta cookbook recipes or created on my own.

Note, however, that the recipes listed here all use tomato as the base. They exclude other recipes that may contain tomatoes but the base ingredient is, for example, olive oil. These would be classified under the section on oil-based recipes.

There are two main types of pasta dish with a tomato sauce recipe - those that use

  • canned tomatos
  • fresh tomatoes.

In addition, there is another sub-type, such as Bolognese sauce, that also uses some amount of tomato paste, a form of concentrated tomato. Tomato paste gives a richer, stronger flavour as well as a darker colour. But no worries if you don't have it. Just leave it out for a lighter flavour.

A tomato sauce recipe made with canned tomatoes will, of course, taste differently from one made with fresh tomatoes. Generally, a fresh tomato sauce recipe has a lighter flavour and feel. But one type is not necessarily better than the other. The two are different, that's all.

The two types of tomato-based sauces are interchangeable. So don't worry if you are in a hurry, or feeling lazy, and would like to just open a can of tomatoes instead of making your own tomato sauce.

Fresh tomato sauce recipe

But if you do have the mood, time and energy to make a fresh tomato sauce, it is actually quite easy. Basically, all you need to do is:
  • roughly chop a good quantity of red, ripe tomatoes
  • add a pinch of sea salt
  • bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes or longer. If necessary, add a bit of water to prevent the sauce from drying out and burning
  • stir well, to mash up and mix the tomatoes.

You may, of course, add a few additional ingredients and steps, such as:

  • Saute some onions in a bit of olive oil until they are soft and translucent before adding the tomatoes.

  • Add a small amount of chopped beetroot for a darker, redder colour - just be careful not to have the beetroot over-power the tomato flavour.

  • Flavour with one or two bay leaves, dried oregano or other herbs.

And so on. The basic idea is just to cook tomatoes for a fairly long time.

The key to a good, fresh tomato sauce recipe is to use well-ripened, red tomatoes - especially those that ripened on the vine rather than those that are artifically ripened after harvest. Tomatoes that are green / yellow / orange in colour and still hard or firm will be sour and will not make good tomato pasta sauces.

The best tomato for making tomato sauce is plum tomato, a variety specially cultivated for this. It is more elongated than round, and more fleshy with fewer seed compartments. But it's not commonly available and expensive in Singapore where I live. I normally use cherry tomatoes because I can usually get it well-ripened, organic and still relatively cheap.


The healthiest way to eat tomatoes is to cook them - slowly and for a long time as in the case of tomato pasta sauces. This was how tomatoes were traditionally eaten. The practice of eating raw tomatoes in salads became popular only in the later part of the last century.

Most people think that vitamins are destroyed by cooking. But the main vitamin lost is vitamin C and most other nutrients are retained.

Recent scientific research found that a major beneficial ingredient in tomatoes is lycopene, which has antioxidant properties supposedly twice as powerful as beta carotene. This nutrient is more readily available to the body when tomato is cooked.

From the macrobiotic perspective of yin and yang, tomatoes (along with other nightshade vegetables like potato, bell peppers and eggplant) are said to be highly yin, or having strong "expanding" energy. Cooking makes tomatoes more concentrated or "contracted" - that is, more yang - and helps to balance this strong yin energy.

Canned stewed tomatoes

The easier way to make a tomato sauce recipe is, of course, to simply used canned tomatoes. These are very red - and naturally so, not because of any artificial colouring. They are among the very few types of canned foods that are relatively healthy, containing minimal chemical food additives.

Canned tomatoes come either whole or chopped. I usually buy the whole tomatoes because then I am sure I am not getting some chopped up odds and ends. In any case, they are very soft and easy to mash up.

Where possible, I would buy organic canned tomatoes. In percentage terms, the price may be about 30 to 50 percent higher than regular canned tomatoes. But in absolute terms, they remain very affordable. In Singapore where I am, I can buy organic canned tomatoes for about S$3+ (slightly over US$2) per can of 400 grams, versus S$2+ for a can of non-organic, chemically-fertilised tomatoes.

Click here to understand why canned stewed tomatoes are good for a tomato sauce recipe.

Anchovies with tomato
Anchovies and tomato, capers, olive & chilli
Bolognese - baked version
Eggplant and tomato
Marinara (seafood)
Puttenesca - "Prostitute's pasta"
Vongole (clam sauce)

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Alfredo - authentic
Alfredo Shrimp
Alfredo Spinach
Anchovies + tomato
Anchovies + capers, olives, chilli
Arrabbiata - simple
Century egg + Spinach
Chinese "Bolognese"
Chinese Garlic Chicken
Itlog na Maalat / Salted Eggs
Itlog na Maalat / Salted Eggs II
Natto + Nori seaweed
Tempeh + Spinach
Amatriciana sauce
Bacon + Ricotta cheese
Authentic Carbonara
Bolognese - baked
Chinese "Bolognese"
Authentic Carbonara
Chicken Carbonara
Chinese Garlic Chicken
Cream Garlic Chicken
Red clam sauce
White clam sauce
Fried-pasta with Shrimp
Simple fried pasta
Aglio Olio - Garlic + Oil
Lemon, Garlic + Herbs
Ricotta + Herbs
ITALIAN - Authentic Italian Pasta recipes
Seafood Marinara
See Bolognese above
Basil pesto
Cilantro Pesto
RICOTTA cheese sauce
Ricotta + Bacon
Ricotta + Herbs
Ricotta + Salmon in pasta shells
Lemon, Garlic + Herbs
Salted Eggs Salad I
Salted Eggs Salad II
See also Pesto and Ricotta above
Salmon Gremolata
Salmon + Ricotta in pasta shells
Alfredo Shrimp
Fried-pasta with Shrimp
Garlic Shrimp
Garlic Shrimp w cream
Alfredo Spinach
Century egg + Spinach
Tempeh + Spinach
TOMATO-based sauce
Anchovies + tomato
Anchovies + capers, olives. chilli
Clam sauce / Vongole
Bolognese - baked
Eggplant + Tomato
Seafood Marinara
See clams above