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Basic Red Sauce

Author: Michelle


  • Olive Oil (about 2 tbsp)
  • 3-15 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1-6 oz can tomato paste
  • Water (3/4 filled tomato paste can, mixed between all tomato product cans)
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic or 3 cloves grated/minced; plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp oregano +/-
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese; finely grated or the green-can stuff
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. In a large pot, skillet, or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over a medium-high heat.
  2. Add garlic and quickly mix around to heat up the garlic, but take care NOT TO BROWN it.
  3. Remove pot from heat.
  4. Add tomato sauce, paste, and water.  Mix well.
  5. Return to heat.
  6. Add oregano, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.
  7. Bring to a low boil or high simmer.
  8. Taste for salt, pepper, and garlic and add if needed to taste.
  9. Add parmesan cheese and allow to resume a low boil/high simmer for about 3 minutes.
  10. *After cooked, discard the bay leaf and serve.
  11. *If using immediately, reduce to low and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  12. *If using in slow cooker or oven, add to slow cooker/baking pot and allow to cook 3-6 hours on low with desired protein or on its own.
  13. **The longer this sauce sits "around" the better it tastes!