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Spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce recipe

Spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce recipe

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  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Pasta types
  • Spaghetti

There are few dishes as classic and easy as spaghetti with tomato sauce. Try this lovely version with a little added green from parsley and peppers in the summer when fresh tomatoes are at their peak.

45 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 300g spaghetti
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 small green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried crushed chillies (optional)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:12min ›Ready in:17min

  1. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Tip in the pasta and cook for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, scald the tomatoes in a bowl of boiling water for 30 seconds, drain and refresh under cold running water, then peel off the skins. Deseed and roughly chop the flesh.
  3. Mix the tomatoes with the diced pepper, garlic, olive oil, chillies, if liked, parsley and seasoning in a saucepan. Warm this sauce over a low heat.
  4. Drain the pasta, tip into a heated serving dish and season with pepper. Pour over the warm sauce, toss with the pasta and serve at once.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(4)

Reviews in English (4)

The sauce needed a little bit of sugar to tame the tomato. But it makes for a FANTASTIC meal.-29 Oct 2009

Loved this sauce, easy to make with simple fresh ingredients.-04 May 2009

So fresh and healthy, I'll definitely make this again. It wasn't much harder than pouring sauce out of a jar, but bounds healthier and more delicious.-29 Sep 2008

Homemade Fresh Tomato Spaghetti Meat Sauce

There is not a thing wrong with shortcut spaghetti sauce - I use a semi-homemade version of one myself most of the time. It's a quicker version that takes canned pasta sauce and jazzes it up a bit to give it homemade flavor. I've been making it that way forever, and it's a great recipe when you want a good sauce in a hurry. My husband loves it, and that's good enough for me.

If you have never made a homemade sauce from fresh tomatoes though, this is the time of year to do it when tomatoes are at their best. While canned tomatoes make for a great sauce, and you can certainly substitute them here too, the flavor is just outstanding when fresh tomatoes are at their peak.

This is my big batch, homemade spaghetti sauce, because if you're overflowing with tomatoes & going to go to the trouble of making a homemade red sauce with them, you may as well make enough for planned leftovers! Baked ziti or lasagna, anyone? This sauce freezes beautifully, and that's exactly what I do!

I prefer to serve my sauce with thin spaghetti or vermicelli pasta, tossing a little sauce with the cooked and drained noodles, then topping each serving with sauce.
One of my favorite kitchen tools this time of year is my soft skin peeler . I love this gadget for the way that it zips through tomatoes and peaches. No more boiling, and that is worth the price of admission alone. There are several brands available now, though I have the Zyliss. Pick one up at your local kitchen store, or on Amazon with your next purchase there. You can buy soft skin peelers individually, or in a set , and I promise that you'll love it!

Zyliss soft skin peeler.
Let's get to making this sauce y'all! Here's how.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat add 2 cups of chopped onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic - I use plenty here - 2 tablespoons, chopped, and cook another minute.

Stir in a 6 ounce can of tomato paste and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. I actually brown the tomato paste in a little oil in a skillet on its own, but I figured most folks don't want to dirty up another skillet. It works pretty good this way too.

Add 8 cups of tomatoes that have been peeled, chopped and all the juices retained along with 1-1/2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. If you're using canned tomatoes, just cut the tomatoes up in the can with a pair of kitchen shears, then add them with their juices to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil reduce to medium, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can puree this using an immersion blender if you like, or you can leave it chunky.

Add 2 pounds of ground beef to a separate skillet and cook until lightly browned. You may also want to use others meats such as ground venison or bulk pork sausage or a combination of them.

Drain off any excess fat and add the beef to the sauce along with 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon of dried basil, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper. If you have fresh herbs, absolutely substitute them!

Stir in 1 cup of beef stock or broth and 3 (8 ounce) cans of tomato sauce. Bring the mixture up to a boil, reduce and simmer, over medium low, covered, for 2 hours or longer. Taste, stir in 2 teaspoons of dried parsley and Cajun seasoning to taste, if using. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

I do another smaller version using canned tomatoes, slightly different from my semi-homemade version, and I'll get that one up over the winter hopefully, but certainly during the time of the year when local tomatoes aren't at peak and in season, or when you just don't have any nice tomatoes, you can still make this sauce using a good quality canned whole tomato product.

I really like the San Marzano Italian style tomatoes from Cento and I use 1 large (1 pound 12 ounce) can of the whole tomatoes and 1 large (1 pound 12 ounce) can of pureed or crushed tomatoes.

Check out some more of my recipes using fresh tomatoes here on Pinterest!

Recipe: Homemade Fresh Tomato Spaghetti Meat Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups of chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste
  • 8 cups of peeled and chopped tomatoes , juices retained
  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of beef stock or broth
  • 3 (8 ounce) cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat add onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the tomato paste and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, or if using canned, cut the tomatoes up in the can with kitchen shears, then add them with their juices and bring to a boil reduce to medium, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Puree with an immersion blender if desired, or can leave chunky.

Cook ground beef in a separate skillet, drain off fat and add to sauce along with the Italian seasoning, basil, bay leaves, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir in the beef stock and tomato sauce, bring to a boil, reduce and simmer over medium low, covered, for 2 hours or longer. Taste, stir in parsley and Cajun seasoning, if using, and adjust seasonings as needed.

Cook's Notes: While it will vary on the size of the tomatoes, you'll need about 5 to 6 large tomatoes or somewhere around 4 pounds total. Out of season, substitute 1 large (1 pound 12 ounce) can of whole, Italian style tomatoes and 1 large (1 pound 12 ounce) can of pureed or crushed tomatoes for the fresh. I like to use Cento brand San Marzano Italian style tomatoes. Some canned tomatoes contain sugar, taste before adding any sugar. This recipe makes approximately 12 to 14 cups of meat sauce, enough for two meals. I often set aside about 6 cups to make lasagna or ziti. Okay to substitute dry bouillon or beef base (like Better than Bouillon) with water for the beef broth.

Variation: Substitute half Italian sausage, ground venison, or raw, bulk pork sausage (not breakfast sausage) for half the ground beef, or use a combination of other meats for a total of 2 pounds.

Slow Cooker: Prepare as above, but transfer to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

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Recipe: Spaghetti With Fresh Tomato Sauce and Roasted Vegetables

This recipe includes steps to make your own tomato sauce, whether to use with the other ingredients listed or for other dishes as well. Use your own garden tomatoes or canned roma tomatoes for a tasty dish including roasted mushrooms, broccoli and peppers.

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Tomato sauce
Olive oil cooking spray
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small carrot, minced
1 shallot, minced
4 cups peeled, seeded, and diced ripe tomatoes or one 28-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/2 pound while wheat spaghetti
3/4 pound broccoli florets and stalks, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
2 portabella mushrooms, halved and thinly sliced
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly grated pepper
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. To make the sauce, coat a large pot with cooking spray and saute the garlic, carrot and shallot over low heat until they begin to wilt, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, vinegar and red pepper flakes (if using). Cover and simmer slowly for 30 minutes
  3. Stir in the basil and simmer for 10 minutes more. (To make smoother sauce, cool and process in batches in either a blender or food processor.) Set aside.
  4. Place the broccoli, mushrooms and bell pepper on the prepared pan. Toss with oil and vinegar. Roast about 10 minutes until crisp or done to your taste. Sprinkle with pepper.
  5. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.
  6. In a large serving bowl, toss the pasta with 2 cups tomato sauce. Top with the roasted vegetables and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition information

Calories 363
Total fat 4g
Protein 15g
Carbohydrate 71g
Dietary fiber 4g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 100mg
Potassium 93mg

Source: Cleveland Clinic Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook (© 2007 Broadway Books)

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Cooking guidelines

You have to take 6-qt. stockpot.

Oil must be poured and heated by keeping the heat at medium level.

Onion needs to be sauteed 4 to 6 minutes (Stop cooking when onion becomes soft) and then, pepper, salt and tomatoes must be stirred in.

You need to bring it to a boil.

After reducing heat, it should be simmered uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes. You can stop when it gets thickened.

Spaghetti must be cooked based on package directions and then, you have to drain it.

1/4 cup basil must be stirred in and you can also add sugar to sauce if you want.


  • 3 ounces spaghetti, high-quality dried or fresh
  • Salt
  • 6 ounces tomato sauce
  • 4 large leaves of basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter, unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • For the Tomato Sauce:
  • 8 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 of a can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of red chili flakes
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, whole
  • 2 stems of basil, leaves on
  • Note: Vary the ratio of canned to fresh tomatoes according to the season. If fresh, flavorful tomatoes are available, use all fresh if tomatoes lack some flavor, supplement with canned.

Related Video

I made this yesterday for valentines day, my husband loved it but it was just ok for me. I expected a lot more from all the work you do with the tomatoes. Next time I'll try making this in the summer when tomatoes are in season. I served the sauce with lemon pepper flavored angel hair pasta which was refreshing.

delicious, easy but a little oily: i would cut down on the amount used.

Delicious and easy -- I thought the chili pepper gave a nice punch.

I hate to say, my husband, who LOVES 'sgetti, did not like this. I don't care for red sauce much, so I can't say much about it, but it did seem a bit bland. This may be a good basic recipe, but I don't think I will try it again.

Good Basic Starter for sauce. I agree with Phoenix - needs to be doubled for serving four.

If you like ample sauce on your spaghetti than this recipe doesn't serve 4.

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Summer has gone by in a flash and I have been meaning to share this delightful Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce! I’m not sure about you, but I have been enjoying tomatoes for weeks in so many different recipes!!

But I have to say, I find that sometimes I’m not craving my go-to, super simple tomato sauce. Sometimes I come across something in a magazine and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. I came across a grated tomato sauce a while back, and I’m not even sure which magazine it was in. When that happened, I completely forgot to make the sauce and the recipe was put aside in my mind for a while. Luckily, I came across this recipe in a recent Bon Appetit magazine and this time I made it right away.

That “right away ” was actually weeks ago, but putting together a blog post after editing all the photos in the middle of a fun summer sometimes gets postponed!But it’s technically still summer and there are gorgeous tomatoes all over the place (and probably in your gardens, if you’re a talented gardener…I’m so jealous!!)

#FreshSummer 2019 project:

My lovely friend Aggie from Aggie’s Kitchen and I have come up with a theme for each month of our #FreshSummer project. For the month of June we chose to share something we each made with cucumbers! Be sure to check out Aggie’s delightful Cucumber Avocado Salad and my Sweet Summer Corn and Cucumber Salad. July’s theme was watermelon. Go check out Aggie’s blog to see a delicious Watermelon Feta Salad with Basil and I shared an Asian Watermelon Salad. August’s theme is TOMATOES!! You can’t miss Aggie’s fantastic Summer Spinach Salad with Tomatoes. It is so refreshing and perfect for end of summer tomatoes! You should join Aggie and I all summer long. If you make a tomato recipe, tag us on Instagram with #FreshSummer.

Follow us @savoringitaly and Aggie @aggieskitchen to see our stories and catch everything delicious happening this summer!

Here are the beautiful tomatoes that our grandmother in Calabria strings every summer with her friends and family…just stunning.

Keep in mind that the flavor of the sauce will depend on the tomatoes you choose for the sauce. Look for rice and juicy tomatoes. This recipe is totally vegan if you don’t add the Parmigiano Reggiano and of course, the butter. You could skip the cheese and add a touch of Earth Balance margarine to the sauce.

Make this vegan by not using the butter and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. If you are gluten-free, use your favorite GF spaghetti!! I used spaghetti, but this would be wonderful also with linguine or angel hair pasta. You could toss in some olives and a little touch of hot pepper if you like it spicy! Another great tomato sauce to try is Spaghetti al Pomodoro e Basilico.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 ½ pounds plum tomatoes, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 quarts water
  • 12 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • ¼ cup minced fresh basil
  • 6 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Squeeze juice and seeds from tomato halves into a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl, reserving juices discard seeds. Finely chop tomatoes.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to pan cook 30 seconds or just until garlic begins to brown, stirring constantly. Add tomatoes, reserved juices, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high cook 15 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring occasionally.

Bring 6 quarts water and remaining 2 tablespoons salt to a boil in an 8-quart pot. Add pasta to pot stir. Cover return water to a boil. Uncover and cook 8 minutes or until pasta is almost al dente. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.

Add hot pasta and reserved cooking water to tomato mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until sauce is thick and pasta is al dente, tossing to combine. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with basil toss. Place 1 cup pasta mixture on each of 6 plates. Drizzle each serving with 1/2 teaspoon of remaining oil sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon cheese.

Fantastic pasta you can buy: Imported Italian artisanal dried pasta can be hard to find, but it's worth the search when you want authenticity. It's made with the highest quality wheat, which gives it superior flavor, and the dough is extruded through bronze dies, resulting in beautiful shapes with porous surfaces to which sauce readily clings. It's also slowly dried, producing a sturdier product.

Look at local specialty markets and online grocery stores for quality imported artisanal pasta. A few of the top brands:

Latini: Look for their heirloom wheat Senatore cappelli or Taganrog riccioli (curls) pastas.

Benedetto Cavalieri and Martelli: Both produce excellent spaghetti, bucatini, and short pastas like penne and fusilli.

Pasta di Gragnano, Setaro, and Gerardo di Nola: All make traditional shapes from the Neapolitan region of Campania, like candele (candle-shaped, long hollow tubes, meant to be broken), calamari (short, wide rings), paccheri (oversized rigatoni), and fusilloni (large corkscrews).

Recipe Summary

  • 15 pounds firm, ripe tomatoes
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 small green or red sweet pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup snipped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed, crushed (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Wash tomatoes. Remove cores cut into quarters.

Place tomatoes in an 8- or 10-quart Dutch oven or kettle. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Press tomatoes through a food mill return tomatoes to Dutch oven. Discard seeds and pulp.

In a medium saucepan combine water, onion, sweet pepper, and, if desired, mushrooms. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until onion and pepper are soft. Add to tomato mixture. Stir in garlic, parsley, brown sugar, fennel seed (if desired), salt, basil, oregano, marjoram, and pepper. Bring to boiling reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 2 hours or until reduced by half, stirring frequently. (Measure the depth with a ruler at the start. At the finish, the depth should be half of the original measure.)

Ladle hot sauce into hot, clean quart or pint canning jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims adjust lids. Process jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for 25 minutes for quarts or 20 minutes for pints. Allow the pressure to come down naturally. Remove the jars from canner cool on racks. Makes 4 pints (16 one-half cup servings).


To make the meatballs, all you do is place all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and blend everything on a low speed until thoroughly blended.

If you don't have a processor, chop everything as finely as possible with a sharp knife and blend it with a fork. Now take walnut-sized pieces of the mixture and shape them into rounds – you should end up with 24 meatballs. Then put them in a large dish or on a tray, cover with clingfilm and chill for about 30 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to a low setting.

Then, when you are ready to cook the meatballs, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan and, over a fairly high heat, add 12 meatballs at a time and cook them until they are crispy and brown all over, adding a little more oil as necessary. This will take 4-5 minutes per batch, so as they are cooked, remove them to a plate and keep them warm, covered with foil, in the oven. Meanwhile, cook the pasta and gently warm the tomato sauce. You can also see how to make perfect pasta in our Cookery School Video on this page. Then drain the pasta, return it to the pan and toss in the tomato sauce, quickly mix well and then pile it on to plates. Top with the meatballs, sprinkle with some freshly grated Parmesan and finish with a few basil leaves.