fresh tomato sauce from the garden

August 14, 2008 |  Category:   recipes savory


We just received our annual shipment of tomatoes from Jenna’s Dad’s garden. Every year at around this time, his garden overflows with big, fresh, juicy tomatoes and we always end up bringing home a full bag. Rather than use them gradually and have them slowly go bad, I just use them right away to make a big batch of fresh tomato sauce. It freezes well if you can’t use it all at once, but we never seem to have that problem.

Fresh Tomato Sauce (makes about 2 quarts)

12 big, ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sprigs of fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

First, peel the tomatoes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut a small X on the bottom of each tomato, then drop them on the water. Remove after no more than 30 seconds. Place them in ice water to cool them down. Peel off the skin, starting when the x was cut. When all the tomatoes are peeled, cut out the core and remove and discard the seeds.

(A tip: if you like your sauce thick, then at this point you should place the tomatoes in a strainer over a bowl to collect the juices. The more you let them drain, the thicker the sauce will be. It could even be left overnight in the refrigerator. However, I usually skip this step to save time, and also because I don’t mind a thin sauce.)

Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the onion and saute for one minute. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add the tomatoes, followed by the basil. Stir well, reduce the heat to medium, partially cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until has reached the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, then serve immediately over pasta.

You Might Also Like

  • alice August 14, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Yes we seem to also be getting through the tomatoes too quickly to freeze them 🙂

  • amanda August 15, 2008 at 9:35 am

    I make a lot of this sauce to freeze this time of year and I have found a way of keeping the top layer from getting freezer burn:
    After it has cooled a bit, pour a portion into a plastic container and float a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the sauce and push out any air bubbles. Put the lid on and pop it in the freezer. Nothing like fresh tomato sauce in January.

  • Mel August 20, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Could I can this sauce?

  • Jenna August 23, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Mel, we haven’t done any canning. But I don’t see why not? You may want to strain the liquid to make it more saucy. Maybe you should try it and let us know!

  • cindi August 26, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    wow really great sauce! thanks for the recipe 🙂

  • Alexis September 11, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    A little late – but for the canner it would need to be canned in a pressure canner. Tomatos are right at the safety line in terms of acid and adding the onion and olive oil would make this recipe unsafe by canning in a boiling water bath.