Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Mama Mia Trattoria’s Pomodoro Sauce

Yield: Yields four quarts.

This is the secret tomato sauce we serve with many dishes at Mama Mia Trattoria. It’s bright, naturally slightly sweet, and perfect with a bowlful of pasta or as an ingredient in other dishes. Take the time to sauté the onions and garlic slowly so they get soft and flavorful, but not brown, and use the best tomatoes you can afford. Keep some sauce in the freezer to have on hand for a quick meal in a pinch.

This recipe is excerpted from Mother’s Best.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped (about 2-1/4 cups)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced (about 2 Tbs.)
  • 5 (28-oz.) cans whole tomatoes in purée
  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil (6 to 8 sprigs), stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  • Heat a large (6- to 8-quart) saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the olive oil and the onions at the same time. Sauté until very soft, about 12 minutes.Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes, but do not let it brown (turn down the heat if you see browning).

    Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add the basil and cook for 5 minutes more.

    Remove the pan from the heat and season with the salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender, food processor, or regular blender, purée until mostly smooth but still chunky. (If you use a blender or food processor, steam pressure can cause the sauce to spray out of the appliance. So purée the sauce in small batches, crack the lid on blenders to let some steam escape, make sure to cover the lid with a kitchen towel, and hold your hand on it to keep it down.)


Rate or Review


We haven't received any reviews yet for this recipe.

Have you made it? Tell us what you thought!

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.