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How to Make Easy Homemade Red Sauce Pasta Recipe

Are you craving a delicious and satisfying red sauce pasta but short on time? You don’t have to wait for hours to achieve the rich, deep flavors of a slow-cooked sauce. In this easy homemade red sauce pasta recipe, you’ll learn how to create a mouthwatering sauce in under 30 minutes that captures the essence of a long-cooked tomato sauce. By infusing aromatic ingredients like onion and turmeric into the tomato base, you’ll achieve a sauce that is quick to make and burst with traditional Italian-Moroccan flavors. My recipe is different from your classic garlic cloves and fresh herbs recipe but it’s just as delicious if not better it will become your go-to recipe no doubt.

Red Sauce Pasta Recipe Ingredients

The Simple Ingredients of The Sauce

You are about to embark on a delicious journey with this great recipe, and before you start, you need to gather your ingredients. Making this delectable red sauce pasta is simple when you have the essential components. These include ripe tomatoes, vegetable oil, onions, turmeric, black pepper, salt, pepper, and turkey. 

To enhance the savory flavor, you may also want to consider adding a dash of balsamic vinegar or a sprinkle of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. These components will work together to create a rich and flavorful red sauce that will elevate your pasta dish to new heights.

Fresh Tomatoes

When it comes to the best tomatoes for your sauce, using fresh, ripe plum tomatoes is ideal for this simple tomato sauce. These tomatoes are meaty and have fewer seeds, which makes them perfect for creating a thick and hearty sauce. San Marzano tomatoes, known for their sweet flavor and low acidity, are highly recommended for an authentic Italian pasta sauce.

If fresh tomatoes are not available, you can use canned tomatoes, but I can’t confirm if they will be good or not because I always use fresh tomatoes only. 

Now that you have your essential components and the best type of tomatoes, you are ready to proceed with the next steps in crafting your homemade red sauce pasta.

Red Onion

I love using red onion in my homemade tomato sauce all the time because it adds a delicious and sweet taste to it that can’t be replicated with any other vegetable. 

Ground Turkey

If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can skip this ingredient, however, if you are not, I highly recommend adding ground turkey because it tastes incredible with this sauce. Ground beef also tastes amazing with this recipe if you would like to use it instead.


For the spices, I like to keep it simple with the classic salt, pepper, knorr granules, and some turmeric because it just makes everything better.

How to Cook The Red Sauce

Step 1: 

Start by heating the vegetable oil in a pan. Add the onion and cook it for 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat until soft. 

Step 2: 

Stir in the chopped tomatoes and spices. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes with a lid on until the tomato breaks down.

Step 3:

Stir in the ground turkey, and put on the lid. Cook for another 10 minutes until it’s done. 

Step 4: 

​Make a hole in the middle. Pour in it 3 tablespoons of the pasta water. Stir in the knorr granules until they melt. 

Step 5: 

Mix everything and cook the pasta for 3 to 4 minutes until it thickens.

If you love this pasta, then you will love my vegan bow tie pasta with tomato sauce, and this scrumptious tomato and lettuce salad recipe, super delicious, and perfect for a busy weeknight!

Cooking Pasta to Go with Your Sauce

Choosing the Right Pasta Shape

When it comes to selecting the perfect pasta shape to pair with your homemade sauce, consider the texture and consistency of the sauce. Heavier, chunky sauces tend to pair well with pasta like rigatoni or penne pasta, as the nooks and crannies of the pasta can trap the sauce, delivering a burst of flavor in every bite. On the other hand, smoother sauces like marinara sauce or Alfredo sauce complement long, thin pasta shapes such as spaghetti or fettuccine. The key is to ensure that the pasta shape complements the sauce, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.

For this recipe, I love using my beloved classic macaroni because I love how light it is, and how it holds the sauce in it like a boat which makes this dish extra delicious.

The Secret to Cooking Pasta Al Dente

Achieving the perfect al dente texture is crucial for any pasta dish. To ensure your pasta is cooked to perfection, bring a large pot of salted water to boil, then follow the recommended cooking time on the pasta package but start testing for doneness a minute or two before the indicated time. The pasta should be tender with a slight firmness or “bite” to it. Remember that the pasta will continue to cook briefly once it’s combined with the hot sauce, so slightly undercooking it during the boiling stage is key to achieving the ideal al dente texture.

Mixing Pasta and Sauce the Right Way

To marry the pasta and sauce seamlessly, transfer the cooked pasta to a basket to drain it completely from the water. Since I like to use macaroni for this recipe, I like to shake the basket several times on the sink because water tends to be trapped inside the macaroni pieces. 

Add the drained pasta directly into the pan with the simmering meat sauce. Avoid rinsing the pasta with water as this eliminates the starches that help the sauce adhere to the pasta. Toss the pasta and sauce together over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, allowing the pasta to soak up the flavors of the sauce. This process ensures that every strand or piece of pasta is generously coated with the delectable homemade red sauce, resulting in a delicious and well-balanced dish.

Red Sauce Pasta

Learn how to whip up a delicious, homemade red sauce pasta in minutes! Try my easy recipe for a satisfying meal tonight.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Morocco
Servings: 2


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes diced
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200 g turkey
  • 1/2 tsp knorr granules
  • 2 cups penne pasta uncooked


  • Sautee the onion for 4 minutes until soft.
  • Add the the chopped tomatoes and spices.
  • Cook the sauce for 10 minutes over low heat, covered.
  • In the meantime, cook the pasta by following the instructions on the package.
  • Add the meat, put on the lid and cook for 10 minutes
  • Stir in the granules. Break the meat and cook until the sauce thickens for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the pan. Stir them for 1 to 2 minutes until the pasta absorbs the sauce.
  • Serve it hot and enjoy!


Congratulations! You’ve now learned how to make a delicious red sauce pasta in 30 minutes. By following the simple steps outlined in this recipe, you can enjoy the rich and savory flavors of a long-cooked tomato sauce without the extensive cooking time.  Now, you can impress your family and friends with this quick and tasty pasta dish, perfect for any weeknight dinner. Enjoy your homemade red sauce pasta!

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