San Marzano Tomato Sauce {Family Recipe}

My family’s beloved San Marzano Tomato Sauce. This luscious red sauce is simmered for several hours to develop the richest taste. It’s filled with fresh herbs, authentic Italian flavors, and the most inviting aroma. Easily the best tomato sauce I’ve ever had!

From my family to yours. 

a pot of san marzano tomato sauce with fresh herbs

This Italian gravy recipe is quite special because it was the very first recipe my mom ever taught me how to make. It was the very beginning of my love for food. For years this sauce has brought my loud, bold, and very loving family together and has been a part of many memorable family dinners.

When you make this homemade pasta sauce you will find the results are luscious, rich, developed in flavor, and is the perfect sauce to compliment your favorite Italian dishes! Although tomato sauce is quite simple, using quality ingredients matters. And letting your sauce cook low and slow for hours will give you the most beautifully rich and savory sauce you’ve ever had.

The first steps for making this sauce… put on some Frank Sinatra, grab a glass of vino, and enjoy the sweet aroma of simmering tomatoes & garlic. ‘Cause, that’s amore!

Ingredients Needed

You’ll need just a handful of pantry items and fresh herbs to make this recipe happen. Here’s the full list: canned San Marzano plum tomatoes, garlic cloves, quality tomato paste, olive oil, salt & black pepper, and fresh herbs – basil, oregano, and thyme if desired.

ingredients for tomato sauce arranged on gray background.

Why are San Marzano tomatoes the best?

San Marzano tomatoes first originated in Naples, Italy. They are not just a staple in my family’s recipes, but are considered to be the best tomatoes in the world to use in sauces!

These tomatoes are set apart from others because of their rich, sweet flavor and lower acidity. They are also known to have a thicker consistency compared to other canned plum tomatoes.

Take an extra step and use DOP-certified tomatoes – usually visible on the front or the back of the can. This is a protective seal that guarantees authenticity.

How to Make San Marzano Tomato Sauce

  •  Saute garlic in olive oil: Saute minced garlic for 30 to 60 seconds on low – medium heat – constantly stirring. Using lots of garlic in this recipe will give your tomato sauce the foundation of its flavor.
  • Add Tomatoes, paste, and salt & pepper – cook low and slow: The key to a good tomato sauce is cooking it for up to 4-6 hours. This allows the sauce to thicken, flavors to richen and develop, and acidity to balance.
  • Stir in fresh herbs at the very end: Cooking herbs in the sauce for hours can actually result in a bitter flavor. For a fresh, vibrant herb flavor add at the very end when the sauce is finished for best results.

Tips for Success

step 1 get san marzano tomatoes step 2 sun-dried tomato paste

  • Use San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes: to make a perfect tomato sauce you need San Marzano. These tomatoes give your sauce a thicker consistency and are sweeter, richer, and less acidic in flavor.
  • Use Amore Sun-Dried Tomato Paste: Rather than using normal tomato paste, my family loves to use this sun-dried tomato paste for a thickener consistency and richer taste.
  • Add a Parmesan cheese rind: When you purchase a block of parmesan cheese – save/freeze your cheese rind for recipes like this! It’s a unique ingredient that instantly adds flavor. The rind won’t melt (though it will get soft); it will just sit in your sauce or soup and infuse it with extra umami and savor. Add the rind during the simmering time of the sauce, then use a utensil to carefully remove it before serving.
  • Lots of garlic for lots of flavor: I encourage you, as a born and raised garlic-lover, to not shy away from the number of garlic cloves listed. So much flavor in red sauces comes from the aromatics (garlic, onions, etc.). We use lots of garlic in this sauce to create a complex flavor! It will not taste “garlic-y” at all – but wonderfully balanced and rich.
Tip
A black and silver hand-immersion blender.

Our favorite hand-held blender

Make Your Sauce Smooth in Seconds

I love a sauce with texture – but if you prefer a smooth sauce consistency we love using this hand-held immersion blender to make this happen in seconds! It's much safer than transferring hot sauce to a blender and is the easiest tool to use. The blender is one of my moms favorite kitchen tools! It's great for creaming sauces, soups, and hot drinks.

wooden spoon stirring tomato sauce with chopped fresh herbs on top.

Simple Steps To Avoid an Acidic Sauce

Use quality tomatoes: as stated above, this is the first step to ensure your sauce is less acidic. Use quality San Marzano Italian tomatoes (which are naturally less acidic) for your sauce to be rich and sweet in flavor!

Add a carrot to simmer in the sauce: this is something my mother always did and is very traditional in Italian sauces. The sweetness of the carrot releases its flavor and naturally absorbs any acidic flavors from the tomatoes. How to: remove the stem, peel the carrot skin off, and place the whole carrot into the sauce to simmer. Remove carrot once the sauce is finished.

Use stainless steel: whenever making tomato sauce, it’s important to choose the right pot. My top recommendations for sauce are stainless steel. Any other pot like non-stick or cast iron can cause the acid in the tomatoes to mix with the metal and results in an unpleasant metallic taste.

Tips for Storing Leftovers & Freezing

Store & keep fresh: Let sauce cool to room temperature then store in an airtight container or glass jars. Chill in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.

How to freeze: First, let the sauce cool to room temperature – then store in an airtight container or freezer-friendly ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Our Favorite Ways to Serve it Up:

I hope you love this homemade tomato sauce just as much as we do! It’s a staple for complimenting my favorite Italian recipes – especially around the holidays.

Serve with your favorite crusty french bread for perfection!

If you’re looking for a red sauce made with fresh tomatoes – you’ll love our Fresh Tomato Sauce recipe!

a pot of san marzano tomato sauce with fresh herbs

Got Pinterest? Pin this recipe to your Pinterest boards!

If you tried this San Marzano Tomato Sauce recipe or any other recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, and FACEBOOK for more crave-worthy content.

a pot of san marzano tomato sauce with fresh herbs

San Marzano Tomato Sauce

4.99 from 57 votes

A famous family recipe – San Marzano Tomato Sauce. A luscious red sauce simmered for several hours to develop the most rich and hearty tomato sauce. Fresh herbs, authentic Italian flavors, and the most inviting aroma. Easily the best tomato sauce I’ve ever had! From my family to yours. 

Servings 10 servings
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 4 hrs 5 mins

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Tags: homemade tomato sauce, italian sauce, marinara sauce, san marzano tomato sauce
Freezer Friendly: Yes
Calories: 63 kcal
Author: Bethany Kramer

Ingredients

  • 8 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3-5 28oz cans San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes (with juices)
  • 2-3 tbsp amore sun-dried tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp (each) salt & black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp fresh basil (for dried basil – 1 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh oregano (for dried oregano – 2 tsp)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme *optional (for dried thyme – 1 tsp)

Instructions

  1. Cook garlic: In a large pot on LOW-MEDIUM heat sauté garlic in olive oil for 30-60 seconds. Stir constantly to keep garlic from burning.

  2. Add tomatoes and simmer: pour canned tomatoes with juices in with the garlic. Add tomato paste, salt, and black pepper. Mix ingredients together and simmer on LOW heat for 4+ hours. Stir every so often to avoid burning. Note: if using a parmesan rind, add it in this step and let it simmer with sauce until finished. Remove and discard rind when ready to serve.

  3. For smooth sauce: when sauce is finished cooking, use a hand immersion-blender to puree. Note: If you prefer a chunkier/thicker sauce (like I do), you can skip this step as the San Marzanos naturally break down while cooking.

  4. Add herbs: when sauce is finished, mix in chopped fresh herbs. Season with additional salt & black pepper if needed and serve!

Recipe Video

Notes

Add a Parmesan rind: When you purchase a block of parmesan cheese – save/freeze your cheese rind for recipes like this! It’s a unique ingredient that instantly adds flavor. The rind won’t melt (though it will get soft); it will just sit in your sauce or soup and infuse it with extra umami and savor. Add the parmesan rind with tomatoes and let simmer with sauce – remove rind with tongs before serving. 

Storing & Freezing Instructions

Store & keep fresh: Let sauce cool to room temperature then store in an airtight container or glass jars. Chill in refrigerator for up to 5-7 days. 

How to freeze: First, let the sauce cool to room temperature – then store in an airtight container or ziplock freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 to 4 months

Nutrition Facts
San Marzano Tomato Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 63 Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value*
Fat 3.6g6%
Cholesterol 0.6mg0%
Sodium 164.7mg7%
Carbohydrates 7.7g3%
Sugar 2.8g3%
Protein 1.7g3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Instagram

Did you make this recipe? Share your photos and tag @asimplepalate #asimplepalate.

Tools Used To Make This Recipe

The following are affiliate links. We only recommend brands, products, and tools we use and trust.
avatar

Bethany Kramer

Bethany Kramer is a home cook, recipe developer, and dog mom. She found a deep love for food and nutrition after learning to cook from her mom at eight years old. Since then she’s been developing and sharing recipes from her own kitchen that are bold in flavor and nourishing to the body!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




220 Comments

  • Avatar for Tracy Tracy says:

    5 stars
    I cannot wait to try this!

  • Avatar for Sandy Sandy says:

    5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious!! Served with pasta. Will make again for sure!

  • Avatar for Lisa Lisa says:

    5 stars
    This is such a gorgeous sauce! Definitely pinning and will try.

    • Avatar for Jon Lepel Jon Lepel says:

      So I’m a sauce neophyte. I filed the directions but it came out a little watery. What would you do to thicken it up? More tomato paste?

    • Hi jon! Simmering always naturally thickens the sauce. But if for some reason it doesn’t thicken, add more tomato pasta as needed. Hope this helps!

  • Avatar for JoeAnn JoeAnn says:

    5 stars
    I love San Marzano tomatoes and this recipe is perfect for them….an awesome, robust flavor is revealed via longer cooking time. Thanks for sharing recipe!

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      Thanks so much! That longer cooking time is key for sure ? glad you enjoyed it.

  • Avatar for DeniseWilliams DeniseWilliams says:

    Recipe says 5 cans San Marzanos. Does this mean five 28 oz cans?

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      Yes! Sorry I didn’t add that detail. 28 oz cans! You can also do just 3 cans if you want to do a smaller batch. 🙂 hope you enjoy it!

    • Avatar for Rosa V Rosa V says:

      5 stars
      great recipe…couldn’t find sun dried paste. so added sun dried to paste. Gravy came out great….made lasagna with sauce got several compliments. sauce tasted even better the next day

    • So glad it worked out for you! And I couldn’t agree more – it really is even better the next day.

  • Avatar for Rose Rose says:

    I enjoyed reading your recipe. Would to learn more. My question is I don’t feel 2 tablespoon s of olive oil is enough for all those tomatoes is enough. Help me to understand I’m always willing to mzke a better saue.

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      Hi Rose,
      the 2 tbsp of olive oil is just to saute the garlic. So you don’t need a ton of olive oil for that 🙂

  • Avatar for Linda Linda says:

    5 stars
    This sauce looks amazing. Will have to try.

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      Let me know how you like it, Linda!

    • Avatar for Kathleen M Kathleen M says:

      My question is about the Sans Marzano’s tomatoes. Is there a certain brand can name that the tomatoes come in? Like Centos? I’m gearing up for a small dinner party. Making sauce for spaghetti and I do t want to hear from my husband, “not like moms sauce” he hates runny sauce.

  • Avatar for Laura Knapp Laura Knapp says:

    I made your family’s sauce and it was wonderful! Everyone loved it. We used it on homemade pizzas, tortellini, Italian sausage. I’m going to make another batch and jar them. I’m even thinking what a nice Xmas present it would make with some spaghetti and a bottle of wine. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      So glad to hear, Laura! Means so much to her you all enjoyed it. 🙂 And you’re right – It’s a great recipe to jar and give as a gift!!

  • Avatar for Cathy Bridges Cathy Bridges says:

    Could you use a slow cooker instead of stovetop?

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      Hi Cathy, I’ve never used a slow cooker for this recipe. But I don’t see why it couldn’t work. You would need to saute the garlic then add that to the slow cooker, but I believe you could use it in a slow cooker. Let me know if you try it!

    • Avatar for Louise Levy Louise Levy says:

      5 stars
      I am cooking your recipe now. I intend on adding ground beef to it.
      I did add a few hot pepper flakes and I grated a bit of fresh nutmeg.
      Thank you for sharing.

    • Hope you enjoyed it!

  • Avatar for Gabby Gabby says:

    5 stars
    Delicious!! Cooked for 4 hours and the flavor was amazing!

  • Avatar for Alison Alison says:

    Would love to make this recipe but would like to use the San marzanos from my garden. Is there a recipe for this using fresh tomatoes? Or do I just peel and cook down and then use this recipe?

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      I haven’t used fresh tomatoes. But I’d recommend cooking them with maybe 1-2 additional tbsp of tomato paste to really help them thicken. Make sure to let it cook for the 3-5 hours. Let me know if that works!

    • Avatar for Alecia Alecia says:

      5 stars
      I made this recipe with fresh San Marzanos from my garden and it turned out terrific! Didn’t add the additional tomato paste and it was spectacular. Love this recipe!

    • so happy to hear it worked with fresh San Marzanos. Glad you loved the sauce as well 🙂

    • Avatar for Sunny Sunny says:

      Alison, did you ever make this recipe using your San Marzano tomatoes from your garden? Im looking to do the same, but I’m interested in finding out how you did this.

  • Avatar for Barbara Maher Barbara Maher says:

    5 stars
    love this sauce – 🙂

  • Avatar for Bryan Bryan says:

    If I wanted to transfer to a blender to make a thinner sauce, do I transfer it before it starts cooking or after while the garlic is mixed in.

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      So you aren’t dealing with blending hot tomato sauce, it would be better to blend the tomatoes before you cook them in the pot. So after you saute your garlic you can add the blended tomatoes!

  • Avatar for Matthew Matthew says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! I made this for my grandma’s birthday and she loved it. San marzano are known for not causing heart burn as well. Do you think this would be a good base for Bolognese?

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      Thanks Matthew! So glad you liked it. 🙂 I didn’t know that about San Marzano’s so that’s great! And absolutely! I’ve used it many times for a Bolognese.

  • Avatar for Chris Chris says:

    Hi,
    If I use dried thyme and oregano about how many teaspoons should I put?

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      Hi Chris, For fresh herbs I measure in tablespoons rather than tsp. So for dried herbs – 1 tsp of thyme, 2 tsp of oregano. Thanks for asking!

    • Im not really sure what a cheese rind is? Can u pour some parmesan cheese from a can in or where do u find the rind?

    • Sorry for the confusion Sandy. The cheese rind comes with a block of parmesan cheese, it is usually the end peace that wraps around the cheese when aging. You can freeze it and save it for soups and sauces like this one 🙂

  • Avatar for Kalley Kalley says:

    5 stars
    I made a batch this past weekend and used some tonight for spaghetti. I added in ground beef and mushrooms. It was wonderful!!! My family loved it, there was barely any left in the bottom of the pot. I’m also hoping that it doesn’t give my husband heartburn. So far, so good! He hasn’t complained yet, in fact he went back for seconds, which he normally doesn’t do with red sauces. Thanks so much for a great recipe!

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      Yay! Thank you, Kalley! So happy to hear this. The great thing about San Marzano’s is they’re lower in acidity so that should help people who struggle with heartburn. 🙂

    • Avatar for Ian Ian says:

      Hi how long could I keep the sauce in an air tight jar for in the fridge?

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      4-5 days for fridge or you can freeze. 🙂

    • Avatar for Cheryl Cheryl says:

      Hi
      I’m in the process of making your sauce but in your blog you talk about using the rind but you don’t show it in the video and it’s not on your ingredient list, do you use it in your sauce or are you saying a nice little twist is to add the rind and cook it with your sauce?

    • Hi Cheryl! So the cheese rind is something I suggest as optional – just because I know not at lot of people may have parmesan cheese rinds lying around. 🙂 It’s an excellent way to elevate your sauce – but isn’t necessary!

  • Avatar for Julia Julia says:

    I’m interested to try this! How much does this recipe make?

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      It’s about 12-14 cups of sauce. This is a big batch (5 cans) if I want to do a small batch I do 3 cans of tomatoes.

    • Avatar for Karen C Karen C says:

      Hmm, above it says 8 servings, but here you say 12-14 cups. I was planning to use this recipe for your lasagna recipe, but want to make sure of the nutrition info. Help a girl out? 🙂

  • Avatar for Lisa Lisa says:

    I’m excited to try this sauce based on all the comments below. If I don’t want chunks of tomatoes in my sauce can I use crushed tomatoes instead? Or should I just mash the whole tomatoes?

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      I would recommend using the san marzano’s and then pureeing with a hand blender or just transferring the sauce to a blender. 🙂 I’ve had this sauce using crushed tomatoes and it just isn’t the same.

  • Avatar for Michelle Michelle says:

    Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to try this! Just a quick question, if I use dried herbs should I add them earlier on in the recipe or would they still go in at the end?

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      Dried or fresh, I always add at the end to avoid a bitterness that sometimes happens when herbs are cooked the whole time. 🙂 Hope you enjoy it!

  • Avatar for Frank Sanelli Frank Sanelli says:

    its true i made the sauce with san marzano tomaoes and found it to be the most tamatoe sauce ever its worth the little extra cost

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      I agree! You can see and taste the difference when you don’t use San Marzano’s. Other brands are less expensive than Cento too. 🙂

  • Avatar for Sherri Sherri says:

    5 stars
    Made this in crockpot and is amazing!!! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!!!

  • Avatar for Steve Steve says:

    I am hosting a party for 26 people, the recipe serves 8. Please advise.

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      Hi Steve, It depends on portion sizes – my recipe says it serves 8 but they are big portions each so it could squeeze to 10. I would say at least 12 28oz cans of tomatoes for 26 people. Double the amount of garlic, tomato paste, and the herbs. I also like to mention that you do not HAVE to use Cento brand – there are other brands of canned San Marzano tomatoes that are more affordable, especially when making a bigger serving. Hope this helps!!

  • Avatar for terri terri says:

    I’m planning to can this recipe, so should I leave out the herbs at the end until I open the jar to use?

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      Nope, just add them when the sauce is finished cooking. Storing the sauce with the herbs is completely fine 🙂

  • Avatar for Jaq Jaq says:

    5 stars
    Found the recipe last week and finally taking the time to make it. The sauce is simmering now; two hours remaining. However,, it looks sooooo good that we’ve sampled it already!

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      I’m so happy to hear! There is nothing better than this sauce simmering and developing that rich flavor. Enjoy!!

  • Avatar for Tracy Agnew Tracy Agnew says:

    This is almost identical to the one I make! There truly is nothing quite like it.

  • Avatar for Shannon Shannon says:

    5 stars
    If I want to add ground beef, should I add it in right away?

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      I would cook the sauce, then brown the beef in a separate pan and let cook with the sauce for the last 30 minutes.

  • Avatar for Olga Olga says:

    5 stars
    Bethany, it’s really awesome! This will quickly become a favorite in our house!

  • Avatar for Mehrin Mehrin says:

    I want to make this sauce, if I make it with 2 or 3 cans do I just half rest of the ingredients? Thank you in advance!

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      You can keep the amount of olive oil and tomato paste. But garlic and herbs could be split in half 🙂

  • Avatar for Brett Brett says:

    Can’t wait to try. What about onions?? They seem to be in all other good sauce recipes?

  • Avatar for Moira Moira says:

    Sounds delicious. Where can I find a more sun-dried tomato paste?

  • Avatar for Michael Michael says:

    Hey, the sauce looks amazing, I just need some clarity, The measurements that you write down look different from the amount shown in the video above. i.e, in the video it shows 2 cans of tomatoes and it looks like a lot more than 2 tbls of paste, but it does look like 8 garlic cloves were included. I’m just a tad confused here. please help me understand. 🙂 much respect. -A fellow food lover

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      A very valid question! To clarify, I had to make a smaller batch for the video so I didnt use the full 5 cans (I used 3 but didn’t show it full in the video) – the video is to just show how to make it. Adjust measurements as needed 🙂 Sorry for the confusion!

  • Avatar for Sherri Sherri says:

    5 stars
    Made this wonderful sauce!!! Best ever will make again! Thank you for sharing

  • Avatar for Stephanie Stephanie says:

    This sounds delicious! Do you think this recipe could be made using a slow cooker on low heat for 4-6 hours?

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      Absolutely! I’ve had some other readers use a slow cooker to make this recipe as well. 🙂

  • Avatar for Sarah Sarah says:

    Was wondering if you drain the cans of tomatoes, or add the juice as well….

  • Avatar for HF HF says:

    5 stars
    I am very much looking forward to making this recipe. I love san marzano tomatoes! Do you think the flavor is better with fresh herbs or dried? Can you even tell a difference? If I’m planning to freeze the majority, do you think it’s better to do dried herbs instead of fresh? Thank you!

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      You can go either direction! Nothing really beats fresh herb flavor – but it’s completely up to you. I’ve used dried when I don’t have fresh herbs and it still tastes amazing 🙂

  • Avatar for Betty Betty says:

    5 stars
    This recipe was the best sauce we ever made

  • Avatar for Margaret Margaret says:

    Can I substitute strained tomatoes for can tomatoes.

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      I recommend using the juices because that helps with the base of the sauce.

  • Avatar for Mickey Mickey says:

    Bethany, I couldn’t find the sun-dried tomato paste. I bought sun-dried tomatoes. Can I chop these up really fine and add to regular tomato paste, just to add the sun-dried flavor? Or would you just use regular tomato pastes?

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      Hi Mickey! I’ve never used whole sun-dried tomatoes in this recipe but you definitely could try! I would use regular tomato paste in replacement of the sun-dried tomato paste 🙂 Hope that helps!

  • Avatar for Sean Sean says:

    5 stars
    Just a quick question. San Marzano DOT approved tomatoes from Italy aren’t allowed to be peeled. So the ones that are are not authentic to Italy. Usually American or South America. I wasn’t sure if that mattered and if your family recipe was Italian or just American Italian. I just see the presence on San Marzan and only use them when they are basically just possibly higher end plum tomatoes for the US. DOT approved by the Italian government are specific to one area, highly scrutinized before they are even allowed to be canned. Sorry, not tying to sound strange, I’m just wondering if not authentic San peeled tomatoes are Better than DOT approved authentic San tomatoes with skin?

    • Avatar for Valerie Valerie says:

      5 stars
      FFS who cares? It’s a recipe, make it or not.

    • Avatar for Dori Dori says:

      5 stars
      So good! I cooked this tonight. My favorite spaghetti tomato sauce now. The family wanted seconds 👍. I put cooked meatballs in the sauce at the end. I don’t want to use store tomato jars anymore. San Marzano canned tomatoes are the best! I took your suggestion and added the Parm rind, it really helped give it that extra delicious flavor. Yumm!!

    • So so happy to hear it! Thanks for sharing, Dori! 🙂

  • Avatar for Judy Arnold Judy Arnold says:

    I have fresh San Marzano tomatoes. Recipe for fresh San Marzano tomatoes.

  • Avatar for Amanda Amanda says:

    5 stars
    I have searched and searched for a unique recipe to set my sauce out from the Italian family I married into and this is definitely it! Sun dried tomatoes and Parm rind are genius!

    • Avatar for Bethany Kramer Bethany Kramer says:

      You made my day! I’m so very happy that you found this recipe. It’s close to my heart. Always brings me joy hearing people love it! <3

  • Avatar for Eric Eric says:

    5 stars
    I made this today. Simmered for 6 hours. Truly delicious. Thank you. I added more basil than you suggested but, hey, why not? It’s basil. The parmesan rind just melted into the sauce.

  • Avatar for Susan Susan says:

    Do you put in the dried herbs last like the fresh ones?

  • Avatar for Brittany Brittany says:

    5 stars
    I’m going to attempt this sauce tonight ! Any tips on storing ? Thanks!

  • Avatar for Jeremy Talusig Jeremy Talusig says:

    if we wanted a smoother sauce, would it be okay to grind the tomatoes before we cook and simmer them? doing it at the end when it’s hot creates a vacuum in my blender making it super difficult to remove the cap from the blender.

  • Avatar for Karen Karen says:

    Have you ever done this with fresh tomatoes instead of canned? I am growing San Marzano tomatoes, but I know fresh & canned are two different things.

  • Avatar for Terry Terry says:

    Can this sauce be frozen? Thanks.

  • Avatar for Amanda Amanda says:

    5 stars
    Best sauce recipe I’ve tried so far! So much flavor. I had never made sauce with whole tomatoes before (always used diced), but, these cook time on this recipe really allows them to cook down which is key. I added a splash of red wine and it was amazing ?

  • Avatar for Janice Janice says:

    5 stars
    This sauce is so delicious! It’s my new go-to! I make a big batch and freeze it in containers. My husband even said this was the best sauce he’s ever had.
    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  • Avatar for Lauren Lauren says:

    I plan on making this tomorrow. When do you put the rind in? Is it best to put in when it begins to simmer? Thanks!

  • Avatar for Jennifer Jennifer says:

    Would you cook Meatballs and Sausage right in the sauce?

  • Avatar for Paula Paula says:

    5 stars
    Definitely going to make.

  • 5 stars
    I only have 2, 28oz cans of San Marzano tomatoes. I also suck at math and shiznit. I have all of the the ingredients, but this mug doesn’t know how much of each to put in, cuz.

  • Avatar for Lauren Lauren says:

    Can I use a crockpot instead?

  • WOw!!!, amazing, this is exactly what i always to do

  • Avatar for Joseph campisi Joseph campisi says:

    I like to use a combination of whole and crushed tomatoes. If I don’t put sausage in my ssuce I use 1/2 teaspoon of crush fennel seed.

  • Avatar for Gale Gale says:

    I have several recipes that call for tomato sauce, totaling 96 oz. How many cans of Marzano peeled tomatoes should I purchase? If I buy (5) 28 oz. cans of Marzano peeled tomatoes, how many ounces of tomato sauce will that make?

  • Avatar for Rachel Rachel says:

    Does this recipe really call for 5(28oz) cans of tomatoes? That seems like a lot for 8 servings. I really want to make this for my family this weekend. Thank you!

    • The sauce cooks down over the several hours it needs to simmer. My family also uses a LOT of sauce per serving – so I stick to the safe side and shoot low on servings. But it can certainly serve more than 8 🙂

  • Avatar for Richaelle Richaelle says:

    5 stars
    I made this sauce, it’s incredible. Impaired with a Fabio Fibrianis(?) sauce and received lots of compliments. So good.

  • Avatar for MM MM says:

    You describe San Marxano tomatoes as amazing after being grown in Italian volcanic soil, and then link to Californian-grown tomatoes…

    • Both tomato products I use and have linked are tomatoes grown in Italy.

    • Avatar for Lawrence Lawrence says:

      I used progresso in the past. But then I found this brand especially the San marzano which is especially sweet. Excellent, excellent tomato sauce every time. I always start with Browning onions and garlic first and then adding the sauce. I also put the whole tomatoes from the can into a blender and blend it up before adding it into the garlic and onion.

  • Avatar for Dave Dave says:

    I’m a bit ambivalent about this recipe. I made it and it was very tasty but it lacked a certain “punch” of other recipes. My first thoughts were that it had a rather flat or thin taste, very tomatoey but flat. It seem conspicuously missing a “punch”, whether that be a little bit of hot pepper or even a shot of sugar. I will say that it was very spare on spices compared to what I’m used to (family recipe) with no bay leaves, or even onions. I plan to try it again with a few modifications, maybe just the sugar.

    • Hi dave! This is just a simple tomato sauce – a LOT of flavor develops the longer you simmer it and a generous pinch of salt always helps. Although I don’t add sugar to my sauces you are free to try that out!

      If you like spicy – definitely add red pepper! That is more along the lines of arrabbiata sauce rather than classic tomato sauce. 🙂 Hope this helps!

  • Avatar for Judy Judy says:

    5 stars
    This is the best pasta sauce I have ever made. Since my husband and I are garlic addicts, I actually used 6 garlic cloves. After simmering for 4 hours, our kitchen smelled so good, I could hardly stand it! This will be the only pasta sauce I will make from now on! Thanks for sharing this scrumptious recipe.

  • Avatar for Laken Laken says:

    5 stars
    Hey Bethany,
    Can’t wait to try this!
    Did you place the rind into the sauce the whole time?

  • Avatar for Jen Jen says:

    5 stars
    Made two recipes side by side exactly as written, except I used regular tomato paste. One using authentic San Marzano canned tomatoes, one using grocery store brand canned stewed Italian tomatoes. Both smelled wonderful, but the San Marzano sauce was much brighter red and tasted much more fresh and clean (although a bit bland for our taste). The stewed tomato sauce was decent but tasted tinny and reminded me of cheap store-bought sauce (but slightly more seasoned).
    I will continue to use this recipe with only San Marzanos, but will definitely add more salt and or seasoning and will try the sun dried tomato paste if I can find it. Even when I combined with ground beef/ a little seasoning for spaghetti, it still needed a little extra something to give more flavor.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Avatar for Rebecca Rebecca says:

    5 stars
    This is a great recipe for people on a diet which allows for a shortcut to fresh clean eating! I really thought for me to make my own gluten free pasta sauce without added sugar, I would need to follow several steps but with the Ceto tomatoes, it was effortless. This sauce was amazing, even better than I expected. Best sauce I’ve ever had. I added lean ground turkey over gluten free pasta. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Avatar for Bill Bill says:

    5 stars
    Can you can this sauce?

  • Avatar for Jane Palermo Jane Palermo says:

    Tried to send this to my son who is trying to learn to cook but he’s not on Facebook twitter neither am I. Why do you not include e-mail.?

    • Avatar for Drew Kramer Drew Kramer says:

      Hi Jane, sharing our recipes is simple. You can copy the link and share on any platform – including e-mail. Hope that helps!

  • Avatar for Kaitlyn Kaitlyn says:

    When do you add the Parmesan Rind you mention in the notes ?

  • Avatar for Anwer Anwer says:

    Its an amazing recipe I will try this because this my favorite. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • Avatar for Olga M Schafer Olga M Schafer says:

    This is the only “gravy” tomato sauce that we use. Very, very good. Love garlic, so I usually use more.

  • Avatar for Paolo Paolo says:

    Hi, I have a question. Did you add water to your sauce/slosh the tomato cans? Why or why not?

  • Avatar for Phyllis Phyllis says:

    5 stars
    We made it today and loved it!
    We served it with angel hair pasta and baked rosemary chicken.

  • Avatar for Joy Joy says:

    5 stars
    Hi Bethany Kramer,
    I hope you are doing very well today with your great cooking skills and Italian recipes.
    I am 45%I Italian-Australian living in Gold Coast Qld , Australia. I am very much interested to taste and learn the original recipes of my Italian heritage .I could not access the real and authentic recipes from here due to our diverse culture.
    I would love to hear from you and if you can share some most valued Italian recipes is very much appreciated.
    I will try this tomato sauce recipe and I will give you feedback about it.
    I am so glad to have seen your recipe post.
    Have a lovely and wonderful day.
    Thank you and looking forward to hear from you soon.Please keep safe and healthy and your family.
    Kind regards,
    Joy

  • Avatar for Heidi H Heidi H says:

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I am trying to estimate final volume after letting tomatoes cook down. With 5 can recipes, approximately how much final volume will you have?

  • Avatar for Dina Chalmers Dina Chalmers says:

    When do I add the ground beef?

  • Avatar for Drew Drew says:

    5 stars
    Beautiful base for pasta sauce! I only needed one can of tomatoes and added ground turkey, carmelized onions, and wine. It was great over chickpea pasta and I can’t wait to have it again!

  • Avatar for Dennis Dennis says:

    Looks like a great recipe. Question: what kind of pot do you recommend? Something lightweight, or more like a dutch oven?

  • Avatar for Corey Corey says:

    How much would you say this recipe makes of the final product? Is it a huge amount like gallons or just a few servings? I’m wondering how much the 5 cans of tomatoes break down, 5 cans seems like a lot.

  • 5 stars
    Love your recipe. I cook as well when free.

  • Avatar for Tony Tony says:

    Absolutely brilliant sauce, best I’ve ever had

  • Avatar for Kathy Kathy says:

    Five cans is quite excessive. If I use three, please adjust seasonings and garlic

  • Avatar for Emily McCann Emily McCann says:

    Can I add meat to this sauce? If I do… when do I add it? Would I cook the meat and then add the tomatoes? I was wanting to do an Italian sausage/ground beef mixture. Would that make it to greasy if I add it in the beginning?

    • Hey Emily! I would cook the sauce, then towards the last hour of the sauce simmering, brown the beef or sausage in a skillet. Then add it to the sauce for the final 30-60 minutes of its cooking time. Hope this helps 🙂

  • Avatar for Barbara Barbara says:

    Hi. I am making this sauce for vegetarian lasagna. Do I chop the tomatoes and spices. Do have a recipe for lasagna?

    • You can puree the sauce at the end, or chop them ahead of time. I personally put everything in the pot at once and let the whole tomatoes break down naturally. I like it on the “chunkier” side though!

  • Avatar for Rob Malgieri Rob Malgieri says:

    Loved this so much the 1rst time that I quadrupled it and jarred it the 2nd time! Does it still need to be refrigerated if its stored air tight in Mason jars?

  • Avatar for Jon Jon says:

    When should I toss the parm rind in?

  • Avatar for Kathy Kathy says:

    I don’t like the thickness of this sauce. What do you recommend? I will run tomatoes thru blende before adding to pot

    • Yep, you can blend the tomatoes. If you don’t like a thicker sauce I would skip the tomato paste, simmer for less (the more you simmer the more it thickens). So maybe 3 hours so you aren’t reducing all the water content from the tomatoes! Hope this helps!

  • Avatar for Mark Attanasio Mark Attanasio says:

    5 stars
    I made this about 5 times over the last year or so and it is definitely going to be it for me going forward. No more store sauces. I will jar this up and put it in the freezer whenever I need sauce.

    I use the cheese rind tip, its great. I use some cheese cloth now so removing the rind is easy.

    Also, I make my own sundried tomato paste with Calabrian chiles. It adds a nice spice and another flavor. Thank you!

  • Avatar for Robb Robb says:

    5 stars
    My new go to tomato sauce, awesome. Be sure your cans of San Marzano tomato’s have the DOP certification on the label, if verifies they actually came from the region (the soil is very unique due to a volcano, that’s what make them so special).

  • Avatar for Nicole Nicole says:

    5 stars
    Hi! Looking forward to making this. Might be a silly question, but to you simmer covered or uncovered for the 4 plus hours? I normally cover, but you don’t have notes anywhere and wonder if leaving uncovered will make for a thicker sauce. Thanks!

    • Hi Nicole! good question. So, usually we leave it uncovered on the lowest setting, but sometimes for sauce splattering reasons we will do a partial cover. You can of course cover it completely too! you might just have to stir it more often because it’s cooking a little faster. 🙂 Hope this helps!

  • Avatar for Jon Lepel Jon Lepel says:

    Back again. Made the sauce for a 2nd time and it came out a little bitter. I used San Marzanos and followed recipe exactly. I’ve heard of adding a little sugar but would know how to calculate how much or just by taste. Any rules of thumb on that or words of wisdom?

    • Hi Jon! I’m sorry to hear that. There is a few things that can play a factor in bitterness. Cookware (I recommend using only stainless steal), the tomatoes themselves could be acidic to begin with, or incase burning accidentally happened. But I would try to cut the bitterness with a 1 teaspoon at a time of sugar until you feel it’s just right. A good method that helps (which I will add to this post) is adding a whole carrot to your sauce. It will actually help cut acidity in the tomatoes while the sauce simmers – then you remove it once the sauce is done… Hope this helps!!

  • Avatar for Kathryn M. Kathryn M. says:

    5 stars
    I’m in the process of making this sauce now, and my gosh every time I go to stir it (and taste it) it’s better and better. Instead of using 8 cloves of minced garlic, I roasted an entire head, mashed it, and added it in the sauce. I’m just 2 hours into simmering and my gosh, this sauce is like a warm hug on a cold day. I’ve always used crushed tomatoes instead of whole, I’ll never go back! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  • Avatar for Patricia Herdocia Patricia Herdocia says:

    5 stars
    This was amazing! The depth of flavor is just outstanding. I did add the parmesan rind and it did melt which made the sauce creamy which we ended up loving. Will definitely make this again.

  • Avatar for Peter Peter says:

    5 stars
    When simmering should the pot be covered or not?

    • You can partially cover it – to avoid the sauce from splattering. That way it’s not cooking too fast. Covering the pot fully will trap the heat, cook it much faster, and could accidentally burn it if it’s not low enough or being stirred enough. Hope this helps!

  • Avatar for David David says:

    Can I add ground beef or maybe a combination of ground beef and Italian sausage to this recipe?

  • Avatar for Glenn Glenn says:

    The description says, “A famous family recipe – San Marzano Tomato Sauce also known as ‘Italian gravy.'” I thought Italian gravy was meat based. Is that not correct?

  • Avatar for Tricia Tricia says:

    5 stars
    This was really easy and turned out delicious. I couldn’t find sun dried tomato paste, so I used regular tomato paste and added chopped up sun dried tomatoes. I also added beef bouillon and sugar as I felt it was missing ‘something’. It was amazing. I served it the first night with your chicken parmesan recipe (also delicious) and my boyfriend loved it. I saved the remaining sauce and added ground beef for spaghetti a couple nights later. I still have a ton of leftovers but I’m definitely not complaining. I’ll be making this again soon and canning it so I have it on hand.

  • Avatar for Joe Burns Joe Burns says:

    Canned tomatoes? Canned San Marzano tomatoes? Where am I supposed to find those?

  • Avatar for Dolores Matthews Dolores Matthews says:

    5 stars
    Best sauce ever

  • Avatar for Jerry Jerry says:

    5 stars
    I also sauté o ion with garlic at beginning
    Thanks for sharing this every Sunday gravy with everyone

  • Thank you very much. It is a very good recipe.

  • Avatar for Noreen Noreen says:

    Delicious! Absolutely delicious!

  • Avatar for ken greenville ny ken greenville ny says:

    5 stars
    great recipe thanks so much

  • Avatar for Felicia Felicia says:

    5 stars
    This is my go to pasta sauce. I always pair it with the chicken parmesan recipe(that I also found on this page) So amazingly delicious and simple I’m actually making it tonight 🙂

  • Avatar for Dee Dee says:

    5 stars
    This was AMAZEBALLS. My only regret was making it with only 3 cans of San Marzanos, and not 5. I tried the carrot trick and had a Parmesan rind that I tossed in. I accidentally added dry herbs at the beginning, but that was fine. This made an out-of this-world lasagna. So little effort, and infinitely better than jarred tomato sauce. Not going back!

  • Avatar for David David says:

    This recipe was fantastic! My only question is with the choice of brand for San Marzano tomatoes. I see you chose the Cento brand but noticed they are not DOP certified and not actually grown in San Marzano (grown close by) and are only “certified” by a third-party they helped start. Don’t the tomatoes need the D.O.P. Label in order to be real San Marzano’s? Thanks!