Sugo al Pomodoro

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The Best Italian Tomato Sauce: Sugo al Pomodoro

Sugo al Pomodoro is a classic Italian pasta sauce that has been enjoyed for generations. Made with a blend of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and basil, this delicious tomato sauce is the perfect accompaniment to any pasta dish. With its unique flavor and rich texture, Sugo al Pomodoro is an essential part of Neapolitan cuisine and has earned its place as one of the best Italian tomato sauces around. In this blog post, we’ll explore the history of Sugo al Pomodoro and how it can be used to create some truly delicious pasta dishes.

Origins of the Dish

Sugo al Pomodoro, translated as Tomato Sauce in English, is a classic Italian pasta sauce that has been used for centuries. It originates from the southern region of Italy, particularly from Naples and its surrounding provinces. The traditional recipe for Sugo was first written down in the 19th century, although it is thought to have been around for much longer. Its simple combination of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and basil has remained unchanged over the years, making it one of the most popular Tomato Sauce dishes in Italian cuisine.

Traditional Ingredients

The classic ingredients for Sugo are tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and basil. The combination of these ingredients creates a classic Italian tomato sauce that has been a staple of Neapolitan cuisine for centuries. The tomatoes used in this dish are typically San Marzano tomatoes, which are a variety of plum tomatoes that are known for their sweet flavor. The olive oil is usually extra-virgin and provides a rich flavor to the sauce. Fresh garlic and basil are essential for creating the authentic taste of the dish. Together, these ingredients combine to make a delicious and versatile tomato sauce that can be served with many different types of pasta.

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Sugo al Pomodoro

Sugo al Pomodoro

The Best Italian Tomato Sauce: Sugo al Pomodoro

  • Author: Cucina by Elena
  • Prep Time: :05
  • Cook Time: :25
  • Total Time: :30
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian


Units Scale
  • 1 small onion (yellow or white), chopped or cut into thin slices (depending on preference)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (good quality such as Colavita)
  • 1 28 oz can of good quality whole peeled canned tomatoes (you can also use crushed tomatoes, or passata (tomato puree)
  • 56 leaves of fresh basil, whole and washed
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. In a large saucepan or pot, medium heat, add olive oil and sauté onion for about 6 minutes, until translucent.
  2.  Add canned tomatoes. Cover and let simmer on low-medium heat (the sauce should bubble, but not boil) after 10 minutes of cooking crush the whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon to break them up. You can also use an immersion blender.
  3. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the liquid reduces slightly. Stir occasionally during cooking.
  4. Turn off the heat and add the basil to the sauce. Add salt and a bit of pepper to taste. If you notice any bitterness you may add a teaspoon of sugar. If you notice the sauce isn’t as thick as you like it add a tablespoon of good quality pure tomato paste.
  5. Store in the fridge or freezer and use as a sauce for pasta, polenta, gnocchi, and more!
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