Pomodoro Dipping Sauce

Your favorite Italian appetizers need a great dipping sauce.

Arancini with Pomodoro Dipping Sauce
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christina Daley
Cook Time:
45 mins
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
55 mins

If there's one Italian recipe you absolutely need to have in your arsenal, it's a classic pomodoro sauce. This staple of Italian cuisine has hundreds of uses: You'll find it layered between noodles and cheese in lasagna, spooned over spaghetti, and ladled into a thin layer atop pizza dough. Pomodoro sauce is a mother recipe that brings life to so many Italian dishes, and you'll find plenty of different versions of this sauce. Some may season with basil; others stew it with a Parmesan rind. While there are plenty of ways you can get fancy with your pomodoro sauce, we keep things fairly classic in this recipe, which is designed for dipping.

This pomodoro sauce is meant to be a companion to dippable treats, like garlic bread or arancini. With just five ingredients, this pomodoro sauce keeps things simple. A can of whole peeled San Marzano plum tomatoes provides most of the flavor in this sauce—be sure to splurge on San Marzano tomatoes, which are known for striking the perfect balance of sweetness and acid. Simply process all the ingredients in a blender and let this sauce simmer on the stove to really round out and develop the flavors. Spoon this Pomodoro Dipping Sauce into a ramekin and serve it warm alongside your favorite Italian appetizers.


  • 1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled San Marzano plum tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (from 4 small garlic cloves)

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Process tomatoes in a blender until smooth, about 10 seconds. Transfer tomato puree to a large saucepan, and stir in oregano, garlic, and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 45 minutes. Stir in salt; remove from heat. Use immediately or cool completely, transfer to airtight container, and store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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