Low-Calorie Pasta Sauce

Tomato Sauce. Brian Yarvin/ StockFood Creative/Getty Images
  • 110 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Yield: 5 cups (10 servings)
Ratings (16)

If are watching your calories but have a craving for pasta, you can feel better about indulging with this low-calorie pasta sauce recipe. Simply made from aromatics, tomatoes, and herbs, with just a dash of sugar, you can enjoy your bowl of pasta without all of the guilt.

I don't bother chopping the tomatoes for this low-calorie pasta sauce. I simply peel them, cut into quarters and then allow them to cook down. It leaves the sauce with a few tomato chunks which I quite enjoy. But if you prefer a smoother sauce, you can begin with a finer chop of tomato and, when finished cooking, puree the sauce in a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender. 

To peel tomatoes, you will need to blanch them in boiling water and then immediately cool them down in an ice water bath. Place a bowl of ice water next to the stove and set a pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, hull each tomato (removing the stem end) and cut a shallow "x" in the bottom (for easier peeling). Gently lower the tomatoes into the boiling water--you may need to do this in batches--and cook until you see the skins begin to wrinkle, less than a minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes to the ice water bath, and once all of the tomatoes are cool, transfer to a cutting board. Peel away the skins using either your fingers or a paring knife. Alternatively, you can roast the tomatoes in the oven or under the broiler. This will take more time and a watchful eye, but the skins will come off very easily, and roasting will impart an earthy flavor into your sauce.

Enjoy this sauce simply over pasta, as a pizza sauce, in lasagna or with lean meatballs.

What You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • 4 cups tomatoes (peeled and cut into quarters)
  • 2 cans tomato paste (16 oz total)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 bay leaf

How to Make It

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes until tender.
  2. Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, sauteing for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure it does not brown.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, and then lower the heat to keep at a simmer for 1 1/2 hours. If the sauce is splattering, partially cover the pot and adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Remove the bay leaf.
  1. Enjoy with your favorite pasta. You can also freeze for later use.