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Spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce

Spaghetti with Home-made Tomato Sauce

Back to the basics of Italian cooking: Spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce.

Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 4
Author Manuela Zangara


First cooking

  • 1 kg – 2.2 lbs. tomatoes for tomato sauce I used some Sweet Solanato
  • 1 onion brown or red, roughly chopped
  • ¾ tsp salt

Second cooking

  • 10 basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste if needed


  • 350 gms – 12 oz. Spaghetti
  • Eggplant
  • Vegetable oil
  • Finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Ricotta Salata to serve


Tomato Sauce

  1. Cut a slit on the tomatoes (vertically) and put them in a pot with the chopped onion and salt.
  2. Squash them a little with a wooden spoon to get the juices out.
  3. Cook, uncovered, on a medium-low fire for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Discard the liquids accumulated.
  5. Scoop the cooked tomatoes and onions in a vegetable mill and squeeze the juice out into a pot. Make sure to squeeze well, as the thickest (and sweeter) part is the last to come out of the skins!
  6. Put the squeezed tomato sauce on the fire and cook it again, uncovered, on a medium-low fire until it thickens.
  7. Add the basil leaves 5 minutes before you put the fire off.
  8. When ready, adjust the salt and put the fire off.
  9. Add the extra virgin olive oil and some more basil, if you like.

Fried Eggplant (optional)

  1. Slice the eggplant into 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick slices and soak them in salty water for 30 minutes.
  2. Pat them dry and fry the eggplant slices in vegetable oil.
  3. Put them in a colander to drain the excess oil.


  1. Cook the spaghetti following the steps on How to cook pasta “al dente” in the Techniques page of this site. Drain it and serve with the fresh tomato sauce on the top.
  2. If you like, you can serve it with some fried eggplant and a generous sprinkle of finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano (or Ricotta Salata) on the top… the Sicilian way!

Recipe Notes

If your sauce is way too tart, you can add ½ to 1 tsp of sugar to make it sweeter and reduce the “acidity”. I don’t usually do this, but It is very common in Italy.
The sauce will be enough for more servings! Just keep it in the fridge or freeze it.