Back Pocket Recipe: Tomato Sauce from OXO Product Manager Clementine

We all have recipes that we keep coming back to. They’re the ones we lean on for dinner parties or potlucks. The ones we make when we aren’t feeling ambitious, but still want impressive results. We make them over and over again and always get rave reviews. At OXO, we like to call them our back pocket recipes.

2 min read

These recipes are too good not to share, and that’s what inspired us to start collecting them. So we’re getting back pocket recipes from our favorite chefs, influencers, cookbook authors and OXOnians, so you too can have a back pocket recipe to rely on.

OXO Product Manager Clementine on our Cleaning team comes back to a homemade tomato sauce recipe over and over again:

I’m a huge fan of making my own quick pasta sauce that I learned when I studied abroad in Italy. It usually doesn’t take more than 20 minutes to throw together, and I think it tastes way better than jarred tomato sauce.

oxo tomato sauce


1 16 oz can of crushed tomatoes

1 small to medium-sized onion sliced thinly (depending on how much you like sautéed onions)

1 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes (depending on taste)

2-3 diced garlic cloves

2 tbs olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Fresh basil

Extra ingredients (nice to add during the onion sautéing phase but not required):

Chopped bell peppers

Chopped zucchini


OXO Mise en Place


  1. Bring water to a boil and cook pasta as indicated on the packaging.
  2. Heat olive oil at medium heat in a saucepan. When it is hot but not smoking add the red pepper flakes. After 30 seconds add the sliced onion. Saute until it softens, about 5 minutes.
  3. After the onion softens, make a well in the center of the pan. Add a little more olive oil if necessary and add diced garlic. Fry until garlic browns, being careful not to burn the garlic.
  4. When garlic is browned, add the can of crushed tomatoes. Fill up the can a quarter of the way with water and swirl inside to get the remaining tomatoes out of the can and into the sauce. Mix water and tomatoes thoroughly into the onions and garlic
  5. Keep the sauce over medium-high heat until it thickens, about 8-10 minutes. Top with fresh basil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix cooked pasta into the sauce and serve.


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