Tomato Sauce

(“Salsa di Pomidoro” – “Sarsa ri Pumaroru”)


Since tomato was used in Italy, tomato sauce has been an essential ingredient in all regional cooking and used as a condiment to pasta and in the preparation of many dishes. In Sicily, the preparation of this basic sauce is almost alike all over the island and the variations are negligible but effecting the taste of the sauce significantly. 
The basic ingredients are canned tomato or fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, onion, a pinch of oregano, oil, basil, salt and pepper.
In the west of Sicily garlic is added to the above ingredients, in other towns the sauce is “reinforced” with tomato paste. In Messina the tomato is placed in a vegetable mill to remove any seeds and skin and all the other ingredients added raw. This mixture cooked for about ½ hour, acquires a taste different from other sauces. Some people add wine or beef broth, others include vegetables like carrots, celery, etc





  • 1 can 28 oz. peeled tomatoes
  • Or 2 lb ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • A pinch of oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Basil leaves
  • Sugar optional 



                           Tomato Sauce


Use a vegetable mill to remove any seeds and skin from canned tomatoes. Set on the side.

In a 2 quart saucepan, place 2 tablespoons of oil and the onion finely chopped. Sauté on medium heat until the onion is golden, add the tomato, oregano, salt, pepper and basil; bring to a boil lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 25 minutes.
If sauce is too tart add some sugar.

If using fresh tomatoes.

Rinse the tomatoes in running water and place in a 2 quart saucepan; squash them with your hands and add ½ sliced onion, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Cool mixture and carefully place tomato sauce in a vegetable mill to remove any seeds and skin. Set aside.
Then follow above directions.