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Fresh Tomato Sauce

I created this recipe completely out of the blue a few years ago. I had an abundance of nearly overripe tomatoes in late summer, and was thinking of ways to enjoy them. I have heard my whole life of people making their own tomato sauce and somehow just never registered this as something that I could do. In my mind, the thought of making my own sauce conjured up images of a large-scale production involving boiling mason jars and enlisting the help of a half dozen friends. It never occured to me that I could create to-order small-batch sauce. But I decided to try it!

What resulted was fresh, simple, nutritious and unbelievably tasty. It was so good I vowed never to buy jarred sauce again (and you will too as soon as you taste it, I guarantee it). The ingredient list is as simple as the preparation. This is not a sauce you have to babysit. It will do its own thing - just a stir here and there and it transforms itself in a matter of minutes.

This recipe can be adapted to feature many different ingredients you may have on hand. Use any kind of tomatoes you have. Whole smaller tomatoes, roughly chopped larger varieties or a combo! Each offers its own unique texture and level of sweetness and they are all delicious. Don’t have a yellow onion? Almost anything in the onion family will work here - white, red, Spanish, shallots, even leeks! Sometimes I even make it without onions and it is just as delicious. I have added roasted garlic when I’ve had that on hand and garlic powder in a pinch (although I do recommend fresh for maximum flavour).

Although it is great enjoyed in a small quantity, by all means create larger batches if you have loads of tomatoes on hand! Take it as a hostess gift, keep it in the fridge, or freeze it in the jar and reheat with the lid off in a gently simmered pot of water on the stove. Whip up a batch on your next pasta night, but be sure to put on an apron as the sauce casually turns to molten lava as it cooks. Trust me, a shield is necessary.


Makes 4 cups


1/4 cup olive oil, used separately

1 yellow onion

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

6 cloves garlic

6 cups (6 large) tomatoes

Fresh herbs (optional)


  1. Heat 3 Tbs olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook until fragrant but not browned (2-3 minutes).

  2. Add tomatoes. After the initial stir, let them simmer for a few minutes. The tomatoes will start to break down and release liquid. At this stage, the sauce may look very watery (especially if using larger tomatoes). Cover and give them a stir every few minutes until the sauce begins to thicken up. When you are able to make a lasting trail with your spoon, add fresh herbs.

  3. Once your desired thickness is achieved, turn the heat off. Stir in remaining 1 Tbs olive oil. Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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