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Fresh Tomato Sauce

Preserve part of the summer season: Gather as many just-picked tomatoes as you can find, cook up a big pot of sauce, and stow containers of it in your freezer. If you like your sauce sweet, or if your tomatoes are too acidic, add a tablespoon or two of sugar once the sauce is finished cooking.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 9 cups
Fresh Tomato Sauce

Photography: John Kernick

Source: Everyday Food, September 2007


  • 10 pounds beefsteak or plum tomatoes (or a combination)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely grated
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water. With a paring knife, core tomatoes, and score an X on the bottoms. Working in batches, carefully lower tomatoes into boiling water; when skins begin to split (30 to 60 seconds), use a slotted spoon to transfer tomatoes to ice water.

  2. When tomatoes are cool, remove skins (use a paring knife, if necessary), and discard. Halve tomatoes. Remove seeds with a spoon, and discard. Finely chop tomatoes.

  3. In a Dutch oven (or other large pot), heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring, until slightly darkened, 1 to 2 minutes.

  4. Add tomatoes, and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and saucy, about 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper. Use immediately, or freeze in airtight containers up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in microwave before warming.

Reviews (2)

  • cracky12 5 May, 2010

    I added a bay leaf, oregano, and parsley. I also only used about 8 fresh tomatoes and two cans of tomatoes to make up for it. After I let it simmer for about an hour, I pureed half in a blender. I paired this with roasted chicken thighs ( and poured it all over linguine. Awesome!!

  • GdBlssU 16 Aug, 2008

    Mmm... good!! I had just picked 25 tomatoes from our garden and needed a good recipe to use them up. This one is perfect! I added oregano, basil, parsley, and dried green/red peppers to the sauce. I didn't worry about getting all of the tomato seeds out. The fresh garden tomato flavor is delicious and has a beautiful earthy presentation! I doubled the recipe and filled 4 freezer bags with 3-4 cups of sauce each.

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