Basic Homemade Tomato Sauce (Sugo)

  Basic Homemade Tomato Sauce (Sugo)  


Pollença, Mallorca, Spain



Aedermannsdorf, Soloturn, Switzerland

6 weeks of summer holidays were over, we had a great time. First week we spent in Mallorca, Spain; then back in Basel, in-laws came to visit and celebrated Marc’s birthday together. Then we spent the remaining 3 weeks in Hong Kong visiting my parents, in the meantime, we all spent a few days in Okinawa, Japan together. We were very lucky with the weather most of the time, gorgeous beaches with fine sand and turquoise water, heavenly!

Up in the air

Up in the air of Hong Kong



Okinawa, Japan

Coming back, it’s back to normal, back to real life. Marc starts at Primary school, luckily first week went well so far.

As for me, I needed to restock some food supply for home, we had nothing in the house, so we went to Manor last Saturday after some unpacking. We planned to make fish tacos last weekend and needed some tomatoes and there I saw SAN MARZANO tomatoes!!! I got very excited already as I was already looking for them in the farm near home but didn’t see that day. So quickly grabbed 2 kilos to make some fresh homemade Italian tomato sauce (Sugo). I got this recipe from my friend Sarah, from her mother-in-law. She is Italian, so of course the recipe is authentic!!!!

Making sugo was quite a lot work but the making of it was very therapeutic. I am so happy to see the local produce, after coming back here, the colors are much vivid, vibrant, shiny and inviting.

In Hong Kong, the imported vegetables and fruits look more dull and expensive, that explains why we should best eat the seasonal local produce.

So sitting in my iPhone some notes and keywords of how to make Sugo, I thought I should write it up and share with those who are interested.

San Marzano tomatoes

So excited to see the San Marzano Tomatoes, first day returned from holidays.


  • 2kg San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 cups thinly sliced Onions
  • 4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • A small bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • A little vegetable bouillon
  • Some basil leaves, with stems on
  • Good quality cooking olive oil
  • A can of tomatoes or passata (this is v important according Sarah’s MIL, don’t ask me why, maybe to give a more intense color or a kick)


  1. Wash the tomatoes and pat dry or drain in a colander.
  2. Cut the onion into thin strips
  3. Add a good glug of olive oil into a Dutch over or cast-iron container or any large cooking pan, heat at medium heat.
  4. When the pan is hot enough, add in the onion strips, stir with a wooden spoon, when the onion is hot enough, turn to lowest heat and keep stirring from time to time to avoid sticking and burning. Repeat this until the onion sweats, softens, turning from translucent, to light brown in color. This step is to cameralized the onions. This process will need quite some time which can take at least 60 minutes or longer, I used the lowest heat.
  5. In the meantime, cut the tomatoes into small cubes, remove the head and the inside white part and the seeds (optional).
  6. Keep the white parts and seeds in a bowl, in the end, you can squeeze out some tomato juice and add to the remaining tomato cubes.
  7. So when the onions are cameralized, you add in the chopped garlic, let it cook for about 5 minutes and then add in the chopped tomatoes, and then followed by a can of tomatoes or passata. Put the heat up to medium.
  8. Add in a small bunch of flat leaf parsley with stem on, I chopped mine up and put into filter tea bags (just my idea). This is optional and my first time, last year I just put in finely chopped parsley leaves.
  9. You can add in some fresh basil leaves too.
  10. Finally add in a little vegetable bouillon, stir to mix and when the Sugo starts bubbling, turn to low heat, cover and let it simmer for one and a half hour or so, until the sugo has thickened.
  11. Your sugo is now ready, remove the filter tea bag and blend the Sugo with a handheld food processor.
  12. Divide the sugo into the cleaned glass jars, let them semi cooled down and put the lids on and place into deep freezer (you can do the canning method too).

Optional: if you have time, you can roast the tomatoes first

So this is the basic Sugo recipe, when you want to make pasta, just defrost the sauce and you can add any ingredients you desire namely champignons, chili flakes, minced meat, vegetables, etc.

If your Sugo is thick enough, you can use it for your pizzas too.


Removing the white parts


Flat leaf parsley packed in filtered tea bags

Flat leaf parsley packed in filtered tea bags


Homemade pizzette using freshly made sugo.

Homemade pizzette using freshly made sugo.

Other Info

  Recipe Type : Sauces
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