Find out today how to make an authentic Italian tomato sauce as they make it in Italy. It is called “Sugo di pomodoro” in Italian. We all know how delicious such a sauce tastes together with pasta! It is the best and can be made very fast.
Standard sugo di pomodoro: This is probably the most common basic recipe in most of central and northern Italy, featured by Ada Boni in her classic Il Talismano della felicità and in countless other cookbooks.
Ingredients Sugo di Pomodoro
(makes enough sauce for 4-6 servings of pasta)
For the Soffritto:
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Italian Olive oil to taste
800g (28 oz.) ripe tomatoes
Chopped parsley and/or basil
Directions Sugo di Pomodoro
Sauté the soffritto ingredients in olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper, being careful not to brown the onions (Add a spoonful water from time to time, if you like, to prevent browning and speed the cooking process). When the vegetables are nice and soft, add the tomatoes and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, until the sauce is well reduced and you can see the the oil and tomato have separated. If you like a smooth textured sauce, pass through a food mill. If you like it “chunky”, just use as is.
Variations Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce
There are a good number of variations on this basic recipe, some of which are famous enough in their own right to merit their own names:
For a ‘sweeter’ tasting sauce, use butter instead of, or in combination with, the olive oil.
For a low-calorie sauce, add the soffritto ingredients, raw, to the tomato without oil. Simmer together for 30 minutes and then pass through a food mill. Add a spoonful or two of olive oil at the end.
Sugo scappato (from Tuscany): Add red wine and beef broth to the soffritto before adding the tomatoes, letting each evaporate before adding the next. (This sauce is called sugo scappato, because it is made just like a sugo di carne, or meat sauce, without the meat which, as the name says, has ‘escaped’ (‘scappare‘ in Italian).
Pommarola: Use fresh tomatoes, raw aromatics in large pieces, and a good handful of basil leaves; simmer together for an hour or more, then pass through a food mill. (In some recipes, the olive oil is added to the pot, others will tell to leave it out, and only add raw oil to the pasta.)