Simple Tomato Bell Pepper Sauce

by Marla on March 21, 2011 · 55 comments

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Homemade pasta and pizza sauce recipe
The other night I had to jam on a quick dinner for my hubs and the kids. We love Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough for meals in a pinch. I always change up the toppings and we have a beautiful pizza in about 12 minutes. As I dashed for a jar of tomato sauce I realized we had none of our favorite on hand. I moved quickly as tummies were rumbling and had this ready in about 25 minutes. All you need is a can of crushed tomatoes, bell pepper, fresh garlic, onion and some spices to rock out a great sauce.

Cans of tomato sauce from Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Muir Glen, San Marzano

Sorry I do not have a photo of the pizza. Those dark night time photos are never too good looking anyway. The nice thing about pizza night is I pack get to pack a few slices in their lunch boxes for the next day. This is of course great over a bowl of pasta too.

Yellow and red bell peppers with vine ripe tomatoes

The best thing about a big batch of tomato sauce is that it can be enjoyed for a few days in a row with all different kinds of meals. The flavor actually gets better after a day or two as the ingredients have a chance to blend together. I love topping all kinds of meats, seafood, veggies and grilled chicken with this sauce and a sprinkling of our favorite Pecorino Romano cheese.

Homemade pasta and pizza sauce recipe

You can add so much to this sauce, it is a great canvas for many additional flavors.

Homemade pasta and pizza sauce recipe

Turn it into a spicy puttanesca, add ground meat to make a bolognese. Add shrimp, seafood and spices for a fra diavolo sauce. The sky’s the limit.

Homemade pasta and pizza sauce recipe

What is your favorite pasta and pizza sauce? Do you have a great recipe for whole wheat pizza dough?

Simple Tomato Bell Pepper Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Simple Tomato Bell Pepper Sauce


  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves of fresh chopped Garlic, adjust to taste
  • 1 large Bell Pepper (I like yellow or orange in this sauce)
  • Olive Oil
  • 28 ounce can of chopped Tomatoes
  • a few pinches of Sea Salt
  • a few pinches of Cracked Black Pepper
  • a few pinches of Smoked Paprika
  • optional: a handful of chopped fresh Basil or Italian Parsley


  • In a large saute pan heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and onions. Cook stirring frequently until soft, fragrant and slightly browned about 5 minutes. Some pieces will char a bit, but that will add more flavor to the finished sauce. Reduce heat to medium, add bell pepper and cook a few minutes longer. Add tomatoes. Increase heat and bring sauce to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Let the sauce cool a bit and purée with an immersion blender or food processor.
  • Notes
  • This recipe is more a method than anything else. Feel free to toss in some spinach, mushrooms, fresh herbs, finely diced carrots, celery, etc.
  • Adjust salt and seasonings to taste. You can also make it spicy with red pepper flakes or cayenne.
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