a pot of san marzano tomato sauce with fresh herbs

San Marzano Tomato Sauce

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. 

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword homemade tomato sauce, italian sauce, marinara sauce, san marzano tomato sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 63 kcal
Author A Simple Palate


  • 8 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 28oz cans San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes
  • 2 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)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme (for dried thyme - 1 tsp)


  1. In a large pot on medium heat saute garlic in olive oil for 30-60 seconds - constantly stir. Garlic can burn very easily in this process. 

  2. Add San Marzano tomatoes to garlic. Add tomato paste, salt & pepper. Mix, and cover on low heat for 4-6 hours. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.

    The whole tomatoes will break down as they cook and result in a thicker, chunkier sauce. If you prefer a smooth sauce you can use a hand-puree tool or transfer to a high-powdered blender.

  3. When sauce is finished mix in fresh herbs. Serve with your favorite pasta, lasagna, or chicken parmesan. 

Recipe Notes

Use San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes: to make a perfect tomato sauce you need San Marzanos. 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 it's thickening factor and extra added depth of flavor.

Add a Parmesan rind to your sauce while it simmers. This will instantly add 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. 

Fresh Herbs vs Dried Herb Measurements: Because dried herbs are generally more potent and concentrated than fresh herbs, you'll need less -- typically three times the amount of fresh herbs as dry. For example, since this recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of dried Oregano, you'd need 2 Tablespoons of fresh oregano (since 3 teaspoons equal 1 tablespoon).

Nutrition Facts
San Marzano Tomato Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 63 Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3.6g 6%
Cholesterol 0.6mg 0%
Sodium 164.7mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 7.7g 3%
Sugars 2.8g
Protein 1.7g 3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.