Classic Tomate Sauce

Add pasta sauce to the mixture in skillet

 The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 8 to 10
Yield: 2 quarts
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
159 Calories
6g Fat
21g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 159
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 804mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 20mg 100%
Calcium 97mg 7%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 875mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This classic tomate sauce recipe is one of the five mother sauces of classical cuisine. It's also the starting point for making the traditional Spanish sauce, Creole sauce, Portuguese sauce or Provençale sauce.

It is similar to, but more complicated than, the basic tomato sauce that is commonly served with pasta. Here's the recipe for the basic tomato pasta sauce.

Some versions of this tomate sauce recipe use a roux to thicken the sauce, but this isn't really necessary. The tomatoes themselves are enough to thicken the sauce.


  • 2 ounces salt pork, diced

  • 2 cups diced onions

  • 1 cup diced carrots

  • 1 cup diced celery

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

  • 1 quart veal stock, or chicken stock

  • 1 ham bone

  • 1 dash kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1 dash sugar, or to taste

For Sachet:

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat oven to 300 F.

  3. Tie the sachet ingredients into a cheesecloth sack using a piece of kitchen twine.

  4. In a heavy, oven-safe Dutch oven, render the salt pork over low heat until the fat liquefies.

  5. Add the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic and then sauté for a few minutes until the onion is translucent but not brown.

  6. Add the tomatoes, the ham bone, the stock and the sachet.

  7. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer the pot to the oven. Simmer in the oven, partially covered, for 2 hours.

  8. Remove from oven. Remove sachet and ham bone and purée sauce in a blender or food processor until smooth, working in batches if necessary.

  9. Season to taste with kosher salt and a small amount of sugar—just enough to cut the acid edge of the tomatoes. Serve hot. If not serving the sauce right away, keep it covered and warm until you're ready to use it.

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

Recipe Variation

  • For a vegetarian version of this sauce, you can leave out the ham bone and substitute olive oil for the salt pork.