Do you need to cook tomato sauce? (a step-by-step guide)

In this article, we will answer the following question: Do you need to cook tomato sauce? We will teach you how to cook tomato sauce and also how to improve its taste and make delicious meals!

Do you need to cook tomato sauce?

It is recommended to cook tomato sauce, not so much because it is dangerous if you eat it raw, but to combine the flavors of cooked food (such as a steak or pasta) and the sauce.

Tomato sauce in cans should be heated before adding to the meal, also, and the result will be very good … although it can be improved! With spices, vegetables, and other ingredients it is possible to personalize a pot tomato sauce, giving it a special touch. 

How to cook tomato sauce

The ingredients for this sauce are ridiculously few and within reach of anyone. Do not be afraid to use garlic, as it is delicately cooked, it will develop a subtle and sweet aroma, in no case will it be very strong in the final preparation.

  1. Pour the olive oil into a cold pan. Before turning on the heat, add the peeled garlic cloves to the cold oil (at room temperature). Turn on the heat and set it to a minimum. Saute the garlic over low heat until it begins to release its flavor and turns slightly golden on both sides. 

This will take 2-3 minutes. Immediately, add the entire contents of a can of peeled tomatoes in broth and the washed and drained basil, along with the stem. If necessary, add 3-4 tablespoons of water. It usually takes.

  1. Chop the tomatoes directly in the pan, with a fork or spoon. Continue cooking over low heat until the garlic is soft and creamy and can be easily crushed with a fork. In total it will take a maximum of 10 minutes. If you want a sauce with larger pieces, just crush the garlic with a fork and chop the tomatoes a little more, remove the stems and basil leaves and it’s ready. 

If you want a fine sauce, after removing the basil toppings, pass everything with a hand blender. I usually leave a few leaves. I don’t leave too much, because it influences the color of the sauce and not for the better.

  1. Add the sauce to a short boil and season to taste with salt and pepper. The sauce is ready, ready to taste cooked al dente pasta, or to be stored in the refrigerator.

Serving and storage: If you want to keep it, pour the hot sauce into jars that you close with lids that close tightly. Cool them slowly, covered with many layers of textiles or in the oven. The sterilized sauce in jars can be stored for the winter in the pantry. 

When serving, just heat it in the pan, add the pasta, and a little of the water in which they boiled, grated Parmesan cheese and refresh everything with fresh basil.

Other FAQs about Sauces which you may be interested in.

Does adding sugar to tomato sauce reduce acidity?

Do you put sauce on the bottom of lasagna?

How to improve the taste of tomato sauce

A basic tomato sauce can be used in all kinds of dishes, from pizzas to pasta, through fish, seafood, or lasagna. Now, depending on the recipe you want to make, some spices and ingredients work better than others (a Bolognese, which has meat, is used for pasta, but not for fish). 

For this reason, there are different specific variants on the market for certain dishes. These “special” versions are very comfortable and practical, but also more expensive than the base sauce. Thus, for the economy -and by taste-, we can buy the simplest tomato sauces and customize them at home. The following are some practical ideas:

  1.  Bolognese sauce. We make a sauce or stew of minced meat with onion, garlic, a little wine, and a touch of oregano (or basil). We pour the tomato sauce into the same container and let it finish cooking everything together. We will obtain an enriched and powerful sauce, ideal for pasta dishes with nooks (macaroni, sharks, etc.), which will be filled with this garnished sauce.
  1.  Neapolitan sauce. We add oregano and cooked onion (and in pieces) to the tomato sauce. Thus we will achieve a fine, elegant and aromatic combination that adheres very well to the pasta; especially spaghetti and noodles.
  1.  Marinara sauce. Its name suggests it all. It is used to finish fish dishes in a sauce such as hake or monkfish, even clams as well. To prepare it, we add to the tomato sauce a sauce of onion and parsley, sweet paprika, and fish broth. The combination is delicious.
  1.  Puttanesca sauce. We make it by adding to the tomato sauce a mixture of canned anchovy, minced garlic, pitted black olives, and some capers, all cut very small. We will achieve an exquisite combination that we can use in all kinds of recipes with tomato sauce, from fish and meat to pasta dishes, of course. However, where it will look best is on pizzas and paninis.
  2. Hot sauce. Add to the tomato sauce a garlic sauce with some chili or red chili rings. We stir and that’s it! A splendid mix to accompany mussels, patatas bravas, or fish, which diners who like strong flavors will appreciate.


In this article, we answered the following question: Do you need to cook tomato sauce? We taught you how to cook tomato sauce and also how to improve its taste and make delicious meals!

Our recommendation is to cook tomato sauce, not so much because it is dangerous if you eat it raw, but to combine the flavors of cooked food and the sauce.

If you have any comments, tips or questions on the content, please let us know!