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Simple Tomato Sauce

Preserve tomatoes' rich taste with a simmered sauce that freezes well and is ripe for embellishment. This basic tomato sauce can be easily doubled and frozen in two- or four-cup batches. After freezing it, you can use it as is or add your choice of vegetables, meat, or fresh herbs.

  • Yield: Makes about 4 cups unmilled
Simple Tomato Sauce

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2007


  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes or a combination of plum and beefsteak, coarsely chopped (about 8 cups)
  • Coarse salt


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and cook 20 seconds (do not let brown). Stir in tomatoes and 2 teaspoons salt. Raise heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer vigorously, stirring frequently, until sauce has reduced and thickened slightly, 15 to 20 minutes. If a smoother sauce is desired, pass it through the medium disc of a food mill. Season with salt if desired. Let cool. Sauce can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Reviews (2)

  • Crichartz 22 Sep, 2013

    Good first try, but waaaay too much olive oil. Also could use some sort of herb like basil or oregano. I ended up cooking it down for almost an hour. Next time I will use about 2 Tbsp oil and add some herbs. Good use of tomatoes at the end of the season though.

  • jawasano 12 Sep, 2010

    This sauce is unbelievably good. I had a bumper crop of tomatoes from my CSA that we're about a day away from going bad and I was looking for something quick and easy to do with them. I simmered the sauce for twice the time the recipe tells you to (probably about 40 minutes), but other than that I followed the recipe to a tee. We were eating it on pasta...on the spoonful! So delicious.

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