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How to Make Your Own Tomato Sugo

How to Make Your Own Tomato Sugo

Sugo, also known as “the nectar of the gods” in Italian cuisine, is a rich and flavorful (but incredibly simple) tomato sauce that will transport you straight to the charming streets of Italy.

Made with a carefully curated selection of crushed tomatoes, infused with the robust flavor of garlic, and infused with the fresh aroma of basil, this sauce is a symphony of flavors that elevates pretty much anything it tops.

This recipe is a true celebration of simplicity and authenticity, where the quality of the ingredients takes center stage. The tomatoes are gently simmered with a touch of olive oil, allowing their natural sweetness to shine through. A hint of garlic adds depth to the sauce and brings out the richness of the tomatoes. One separate note on tomatoes: buy the best canned tomatoes you can find. Yes, I know, but even the most expensive canned tomatoes are actually pretty cheap – and you’ll thank me later!

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Serve it over your favorite pasta, spoon it over a thick slice of bread, or use it as a base for your pizza, the possibilities are endless. The subtle yet bold flavor of this sugo will elevate any dish, making it a true crowd-pleaser.

And by the way, don’t feel like you can only use sugo on Italian food. Pretty much any dish that calls for some umami packed tomato flavors can benefit from this recipe (did I hear anyone say shakshuka?)

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Classic Tomato Sugo

  • Total Time: 27 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Tomato sugo is a traditional Italian sauce made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and various herbs and spices. It is a staple in Italian cuisine, and is often used as a base for pasta dishes, as well as a topping for meats and vegetables.


  • 3 tbsp of the best olive oil you can afford
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 cans top notch crushed tomatoes
  • 1 fistful torn fresh basil
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over low-medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the fresh basil leaves and season with salt and black pepper.


Please, please, PLEASE buy the best canned tomatoes you can afford. Even the most expensive ones are pretty cheap, this is not the place to skimp!

  • Prep Time: 7 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Italian Pasta Dish, Sauce, Side
  • Cuisine: American-Italian, Italian

Keywords: italian, pasta, pomodoro, tomatoes

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