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Back when international travel was allowed, we asked ourselves how to make the best tomato sauce for pasta. Our first thought was that we had to head to Italy and so we did. We were hosted by a wonderful Italian family who showed us how important it is to preserve traditions that are handed down over generations. This wonderful family helped us develop our new range of Organic Italian Pasta Sauces.

Before we rolled up our sleeves and stirred the vats of tomatoes, we started with one simple question:

What is tomato sauce?

We found ourselves getting confused about labels and names and thought this might help you too:

Passata

Is a concentrated, sieved tomato puree.

Pizza Sauce versus Pasta Sauce

Is there a difference? Yes indeed! The general consensus online is that the best pizza sauce is simply puréed tomatoes that are seasoned with salt and pepper and maybe a couple of extras like garlic, oregano, or a splash of balsamic or red wine vinegar. The reason pizza sauce is uncooked is because it will actually result in a better-tasting pizza with fresh tomato flavour.

Pomodoro versus Marinara

According to ChowHound, “Marinara is runnier and more liquid than pomodoro, but it’s also a chunkier sauce. You cut tomatoes when making marinara but mince them when preparing pomodoro. Pomodoro is thick and smooth; marinara is runny and chunky.  The other big differences between pomodoro and marinara sauce are their colours and cook times. Since marinara simmers for a shorter period of time, it keeps more of its bright red and orange hues. Pomodoro, on the other hand, can simmer slowly for hours, resulting in a deeper, darker red (although in the interest of saving you time, many of the recipes listed below only take 30 minutes!).”

Spaghetti Sauce or Pasta Sauce

The term implies that there is a base sauce (like pomodoro or marinara) but it also implies even more ingredients, including herbs, meat and additional vegetables.

Sugo

Sugo, means ‘sauce’ in Italian, and is a traditional tomato sauce. Sugo is made from ripe tomatoes cooked with extra virgin olive oil, onions and garlic, and seasoned. It features heavily as the base of many classic Italian dishes, like penne arrabiata and all’amatriciana.

Tomato Sauce

This is the same as sugo but has relevance beyond Italian cuisine. For example, in French cuisine, Tomato Sauce is known as one of the “Mother Sauces’. It is added to in order to create other sauces like Marinara and Provencal. You might like to use it make modern Australian dishes like our Chicken and Eggplant Zoodles.

Other Italian pasta sauces

There are a multitude of Italian sauces and The LA Times has a good list here.

We hope this is helpful and we look forward to exploring the wonderful world of tomato pasta sauces with you.

 

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