Tomato sauce: How to choose, benefits and recipes

 Tomato sauce: How to choose, benefits and recipes

Lena Fisher

With so many versions of tomato sauce, it is quite common to have doubts when choosing the most appropriate product for each recipe. So, to demystify these uncertainties, nutritionist Alyne Santin explains the major differences.

The specialist warns that the main caution to be taken in relation to industrialized sauces is the excess of salt, sugar, and preservatives that the product may contain: "Because the industrialized options contain substances that must be avoided, such as flavor enhancer, monosodium glutamate, sugar, and preservatives, among others," she says.

Difference in sauces

The concentration in the sauces differs due to the amount of tomatoes used in the preparation. Thus, the homemade tomato sauce is made from ready-to-eat tomatoes. However, some extra ingredients can be added to give more flavor, such as garlic, onion, and basil, for example.

As for the ideal tomatoes for the preparation, the Italian tomato doesn't have so many seeds, and, because it is flesher, it is recommended for making sauces. Also, it is important to remember that the choice of tomato is very important, and it is recommended that it be ripe, healthy, and red.

Used in many recipes because of its practicality, tomato pulp is essentially the processed tomato. That is, pulp is usually made from peeled and seedless tomatoes. Because of its more liquid texture, it is not as concentrated as extract.

Tomato extract, on the other hand, has a high concentration and needs to be diluted in its use, so its main role in recipes is to make sauces denser, and for this reason it is known as a "sauce base.

Which one to choose

Because tomato pulp and tomato extract are industrialized products, they usually have a high sodium content and, therefore, a high sodium content. healthier option is homemade tomato sauce But homemade tomato sauce is the most indicated, since the consumer can opt for organic tomatoes", explains Alyne. Therefore, if you choose industrialized versions, the golden tip is to pay attention to the packaging labels.

Read more: Learn about the benefits of tomatoes


Healthy homemade tomato sauce

Total time 30 minutes

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700 ml servings

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  • 15 units ripe tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • Coconut Sugar (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 dessert spoon salt
  • In addition, olive oil (1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil


Bring the water to a boil in a large pot, then wash the tomatoes and make an "X" cut at the base. Add the tomatoes to the boiling water for 5 minutes (until the skin is peeled off), then transfer the tomatoes to a bowl of ice water and peel off each one. Chop the tomatoes if you want the sauce in small pieces or blend them in a blender if you want a smoother texture.

So, in the same pan that you boiled the tomatoes, saute the chopped onion in olive oil, stirring until golden brown. Add the chopped tomatoes along with the juice they release. Stir well and mix the rest of the ingredients with the exception of the basil.

Let the sauce reduce for 20 minutes over low heat. Finally, when it is finished, add the basil.

Perfumed rustic tomato sauce

  • 2 cans of peeled tomatoes
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • ½ celery stalk without the leaves
  • 15 basil leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 5 cups of water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Wash and dry the herbs and celery, then peel and finely chop the onion, garlic cloves, and celery (if you prefer, grate).

Then, in a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil, the oregano, the rosemary, and 10 basil leaves. Control the temperature, keeping the heat very low so as not to burn the leaves. After 5 minutes, add the onion and stir until transparent.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to medium heat, but when it boils, turn it off. Saute the celery for 3 minutes with the olive oil, over medium heat. Add the garlic and mix for 1 minute. Then add the tomatoes (and the liquid from the can) and press with a spatula to shred them. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

As soon as the tomatoes start boiling, lower the heat again and add 2 cups of the heated water, mix well and let it cook for 1? hours, with the pot covered, stirring from time to time. But the heat should be as low as possible, otherwise the sauce will stick to the bottom of the pot. As it dries out, keep adding hot water. In total you will use 6 cups of water.

Finally, add the remaining basil leaves by tearing with your hands. Finally, choose the pasta of your choice and serve it.

Lena Fisher

Lena Fisher is a wellness enthusiast, certified nutritionist, and author of the popular health and well-being blog. With over a decade of experience in the field of nutrition and health coaching, Lena has dedicated her career to helping people achieve their optimal health and live their best life possible. Her passion for wellness has led her to explore various approaches to achieving overall health, including diet, exercise, and mindfulness practices. Lena's blog is a culmination of her years of research, experience, and personal journey towards finding balance and well-being. Her mission is to inspire and empower others to make positive changes in their lives and embrace a healthy lifestyle. When she's not writing or coaching clients, you can find Lena practicing yoga, hiking the trails, or experimenting with new healthy recipes in the kitchen.