Basic Tomato Sauce

This basic tomato sauce is easy to make and easy to adapt for so many tomato-based sauces, including bolognese and chilli.


  • I large onion, diced
  • 1 28 oz chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce/ketchup
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • ADDITIONAL: 1 lb minced beef / 2 tbsp chilli powder / ½ tsp chilli flakes


  1. In a large saucepan sauté onion over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and oregano and heat through for 1-2 minutes.
  3. If you are wanting a rich beef sauce, add your minced beef at this point, and cook on medium-high till browned, 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, tomato paste, tomato sauce, sugar and bay leaves.
  5. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 40-45 minutes, till minced beef is thoroughly cooked. Otherwise 25-30 minutes if just the basic sauce.
  6. To turn into chilli, add 2 tbsp chilli powder when browning the minced beef, and ½ tsp of chilli flakes, to add a kick.