The Epicurean Table -

sauce - tomato, pasta, napolitana


t=teaspoon    T=tablespoon  + - =more or less


These recipes are for your personal use only and may not be added in any form to archives or other works. 


Please read the article Tomato Puree and Sauce - too acidic for you? for important tips and information.


Tomato Sauce Napolitana  (Sugo al Pomodoro Napolitana)
Made with fresh plum tomatoes or your own homemade tomato puree this classic, simple sauce was the staple of the poor of Napoli. It is tomato puro and delicious in its simplicity of ingredients.  Generous basil is a must for this version. It is the perfect basic sauce not only for spaghetti but pizza and lasagna as well. The method I use significantly reduces the acidity of a tomato sauce. See notes below. Multiply this recipe to make a large amount. It freezes well! I have adapted this recipe to reflect my philosophy on tomato puree

Serves 4 to 6

1 k. ripe plum tomatoes (or see Quicker method below)
1 t. fresh oregano, minced or 1/4 t. dried 
2 T. fresh sweet basil, minced or 1 t. dry 
1 med. onion, finely chopped 
2 large garlic cloves, minced 
2 T. olive oil 
+ - 1/2 t. salt 
several twists of 
black pepper 


Quicker method:  use 800 g. tinned whole tomatoes or equivalent of a good tomato puree.  Shorten cooking time to 20-30 minutes.  Cook uncovered.

Prepare the tomatoes and process as in Basic Tomato Puree.  If using tinned whole tomatoes, remove the seeds and drain the juice before processing.

Use a deep enough pot as all thick sauces need sputter and splash room. Sauté the onion in the hot olive oil until glassy. Add the minced garlic and stir frequently for another minute or so. Add the tomato puree, the herbs and the seasoning. Stir well and allow to gently simmer half covered for 45 minutes to an hour (remove lid after 20 minutes). This will depend on the ripeness and character of the tomato used. Stir occasionally. 


The sauce should be nice and thick.  Stir in a teaspoon more of olive oil (optional).

Variations: This sauce is a very versatile base for other great sauces. Try any of the following using the basic sauce recipe: 

· mushrooms and a little more garlic 
· cut up Italian sausage or sautéing chopped green pepper with the onions 
· or cook the basic sauce with one or two dried chili peppers, increase the 
minced garlic and a tablespoon of capers per two servings 
· a delicious, rosy variation - add cream toward the end of the cooking time (5 
minutes or so). 
· for pizza, spread a ladle onto the pizza dough and sprinkle over more 
oregano and chili flakes if desired. 

For a meat sauce, add + - two parts sauce to one part Ragù alla Bolognesa. You 
will have the version commonly known OUTSIDE of Bologna as Bolognese Sauce. 
Add more oregano and basil as necessary to adjust taste. 

All recipes are excerpts from "Welcome to My Kitchen" - The Epicurean Table and are copyright of the author.  Recipes are not to be 

added to any form of archive or other works of any kind.  Contact the author for further information.  


The Epicurean Table © 2003  Patricia Conant