How to Make Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce

Posted June 8, 2017

authentic italian red sauce

There’s nothing much more authentically Italian than tomato sauce. When you think of this type of bold and aromatic sauce, chances are you image it on top of a decadent bowl of spaghetti (complete with a delicious meatball) and probably a glass of red wine on the side. In order to help you mentally transport yourself to the Tuscan countryside, here is what you need to know about making and enjoying authentic Italian tomato sauce. 

What Makes an Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce?

There are many variations of Italian tomato sauce (depending on regions or tradition), but in this post, we will focus primarily on marinara since it is a staple in our family and at Mici. For a more complete list of tomato sauces, click here. 

Start with Wholesome Ingredients

You can’t make a great red sauce without fresh, wholesome ingredients and high quality tomatoes. We start with San Marzano tomatoes grown just outside Naples, Italy. (Fun fact: Tomatoes are not native to Italy, but were brought over to Europe from Peru by Spanish Conquistadors in the sixteenth century.)

Once you’ve picked out the perfect tomatoes, you’re ready to go! At Mici, we use the following ingredients to create our sauce that has been handed down from generation to generation:

  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Vegetable base
  • Water
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Sugar

How to Cook Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, it’s time to make your sauce! Make sure you have a large pot so there’s enough room for all of the ingredients to incorporate and heat evenly. First, add chopped garlic, onions, carrots and celery over medium heat with some olive oil. Saute until soft (usually around 6-8 minutes).

Add the vegetable base, water, tomatoes and spices to the mixture and reduce heat. Simmer the sauce for 2-3 hours or until it’s cooked down and richer in color and flavor. Once it’s finished, you can puree the sauce with an immersion blender if you prefer a smoother texture.

Your homemade marinara sauce can be stored for up to a week in the fridge or up to six months in the freezer!

Pasta Pairings

What is the perfect authentic Italian tomato sauce without delicious noodles to pour it on top of? While spaghetti is a classic choice, you can also pair your homemade sauce with farfalle, penne, ziti, lasagna or on top of some homemade pici!

And if you’re not up to spending hours in the kitchen, that’s OK! You can get your fix at Mici, where we always serve authentic Italian tomato sauce. Our marinara is delicious on it’s own or topped with one of our hand-rolled meatballs or our family recipe sausage, but we also use our marinara as a base for our Amatriciana sauce (marinara, pancetta, onion and crushed red pepper) and pasta Rosa (marinara with a touch of cream).