The World's Best Tomato Sauce: 7 Expert Tips

The World's Best Tomato Sauce: 7 Expert Tips

With a few simple tweaks, your favorite tomato sauce can easily go from good to great.

Add Anchovies

Before you skip over this tip thinking you don't like anchovies, consider this; adding anchovies to your tomato sauce will add a rich umami quality without any fishy flavor. If you don't eat anchovies often, try investing in a small tube (or jar) of anchovy paste instead. Love anchovies? Here are more ways to use them.


Cook Slowly

The longer you cook the tomatoes, the more flavor they'll develop (since they're loaded with natural sugars). Keep the heat on your tomato sauce low so that you can cook it for a longer period of time. Click here for our best tomato sauce recipes.

Deglaze with Wine

After you sauté onions, garlic, or vegetables for the base of your sauce, deglaze the pan with a splash of wine, scraping up any brown bits that have accumulated in the bottom of the pan. Either red or white wine will work, as long as it's a bottle of wine that you'd actually drink. Click here for more recipes using wine.

Know Your Garlic

If you're mincing the garlic and adding it to a pan, don't let it brown, because that will make the sauce taste bitter and slightly burnt. If, however, you are roasting a whole head of garlic and then squeezing the softened cloves into the sauce, go ahead and let the garlic reach a nice golden-brown color. Not sure how to roast a head of garlic? Try this method.

Roast the Tomatoes

Just like the tip for "low and slow" cooking, roasting the tomatoes gives the flavors time to develop and concentrate. And, it's easy to do. If you don't have time to roast your own tomatoes in the oven, look for a canned variety that's already roasted.

Save a Tomato

Assuming tomatoes are in season, save one of the tomatoes that your recipe calls for, dice it, and add it to the sauce toward the end of its cook time. It will add freshness and acidity to the sauce, balancing out any sweetness that you've developed during the cooking process. Click here for our best tomato recipes.

Use a Cheese Rind

When you're finished with a wedge of hard cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano, wrap the rind in plastic and store it in your refrigerator until you're ready to make tomato sauce. Simply add the cheese rind to the sauce as it cooks, being careful to remove it before serving. This will add tons of cheesy, salty flavor to the sauce. Want more cheesy goodness? Try one of these Parmigiano-Reggiano recipes.