A tomato sauce is any of a very large number of sauces made primarily out of tomatoes, usually to be served as part of a dish (rather than as a condiment). Tomato sauces are common for meat and vegetables, but they are perhaps best known as sauces for pasta dishes.
Some Italian Americans on the East Coast refer to tomato sauce as "gravy", "tomato gravy", "Sunday gravy" or "Sunday sauce", especially sauces with a large quantity of meat simmered in them, similar to the Italian Neapolitan ragù. "Gravy" is the literal English translation from the Italian sugo which means sauce.
Tomatoes have a rich flavour, low liquid content, very soft flesh which breaks down easily, and the right composition to thicken up into a sauce when they are cooked (without the need of thickeners like roux). All of these qualities make them ideal for simple and appealing sauces.
The simplest tomato sauces consist just of chopped tomato flesh (with the skins and seeds optionally removed), cooked in a little olive oil and simmered until it loses its raw flavour, and seasoned with salt.
Water (or another, more flavourful liquid such as stock or wine) is often added to keep it from drying out too much. Onion and garlic are almost always sweated or sautéed at the beginning before the tomato is added. Other seasonings typically include basil, oregano, parsley, and possibly some red chilli pepper or black pepper. Ground or chopped meat is also common.
Tomato recipes & tomato sauce recipes
- Tomato and chili dip
- Tomato sauce for pizza
- Oven-dried tomatoes
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Tomato salsa
- Spicy tomato salsa
- Tomato salad
- Tomato and onion salad
- Sofrito (Spanish tomato sauce)
- Sweet and spicy sauce
- Sundried tomato hummus
- Spicy tomato chutney
- Domatósupa, Greek tomato soup
- Tomates recheados, a Portuguese recipe, tomatoes stuffed with prawns and cream cheese
- Chicken legs with tomato and ginger sauce - make the sauce and ignore the chicken!
- Salsa Romesco,a nut, pepper, and tomato sauce originally from Tarragona
- Mild Mexican passata, a nice way to experiment with your dried chillies
- Llajua, a Bolivian spicy sauce, commonly served with Chicharrón
- Salsa salu, a slightly spicy tomato sauce from Uruguay
- Tomate frito, is a basic sauce from the Pais Vasco
- Domatakia toursi (Pickled tomatoes)
- Cheat: Use ready made pasta sauces