A rich but super simple Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce cooked in the slow cooker for a delicious flavour. The perfect go-to pasta sauce for busy families.
If there’s one meal I know my kids will eat with zero complaining, it’s a simple bowl of pasta with tomato sauce. I usually make my own and have tried a few variations over the years, but until I started slow cooking it I never felt I got the recipe quite right.
Making your own tomato pasta sauce on the hob is really quick and easy, but the the end result is often a bit watery and lacking in much flavour. So I started slow cooking it instead and it’s made the world of difference!
This recipe really is so easy. Just chop up an onion and some garlic and add it to your slow cooker along with two tins of chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, balsamic vinegar and sugar (more on the sugar below!)
Next in goes a couple of bay leaves along with dried basil and dried oregano and give it all a good mix about. You can use fresh herbs if you like but dried does the job just fine.
Pop the lid on the slow cooker and leave it to cook on High for 3 hours or Low for 5 hours. If you want to cook it for longer then I would suggest adding a little water just to ensure the sauce doesn’t start to dry up and stick to the sides.
Once it’s cooked blitz the sauce with a hand blender. This step is optional but I would recommend it, as it will break down those pieces of onion and garlic and make a smooth sauce. Better for picky eaters too!
And that’s it, you have a delicious rich tomato sauce ready to mix in with some cooked pasta. So simple but so delicious!
Sugar – The sugar helps to balance the acidity of the tomatoes and reduce that bitter taste that you often get with homemade tomato sauce. If you really want to leave the sugar out then that’s fine but at only 1/4 tsp per serving I think it’s worth having it in.
Salt & Pepper – I didn’t season this recipe as I think it’s best to wait until the end and add salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
Batch Cooking – This recipe is perfect to make in double or even triple if you have a large slow cooker.
Freezing & Storing – Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer in containers or bags for up to 3 months. To defrost either leave it out to defrost at room temperature for a few hours or heat it gently in a saucepan.
Serving – My kids love this served with just a sprinkling of cheese on top but you can also add some other protein to it like cooked chicken, ham or chickpeas.
Veggies – This recipe is designed to be a simple tomato sauce but if you’d like to add some veggies then try adding chopped carrot, celery, courgettes and red pepper. You may also need to add some extra water too and blitz it as normal at the end.
If you try my pasta sauce recipe please do leave me a comment and a star rating below. You can also share your pictures with me on Instagram. I always love to see your creations!
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A rich but super simple Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce cooked in the slow cooker for a delicious flavour.
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tins (400g each) / (14oz each) chopped tomatoes
- 4 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- Chop the onion and garlic into small pieces and add them to the slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients.
- Cook on High for 3 hours or Low for 5 hours.
- Turn off the slow cooker and remove the bay leaves. Blitz the sauce with a hand blender. You can add a splash of water to the sauce to loosen it up a little.
- Serve immediately with cooked pasta.
Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer in containers or bags for up to 3 months. To defrost either leave it out to defrost at room temperature for a few hours or heat it gently in a saucepan.
Don’t have a slow cooker? No problem. Add all the ingredients plus 300ml of water or vegetable stock to a saucepan and simmer on low on the hob for about 40 minutes. Then blend as above.
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