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Fresh Tomato Sauce

It's easy to blanch tomatoes for too long, causing the flesh to become mushy. To determine the proper cooking time, simply remove a tomato from the water, beginning after about ten seconds, and gently pinch with two fingers. The skin should have just a slight give and feel slightly less taut than when raw.

  • yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups




  • 15 (about 2 pounds) plum tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Step 1

    Make an ice-water bath: Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place tomatoes in boiling water until skins just begin to loosen, 10 to 20 seconds. Remove; transfer to ice-water bath. Remove tomatoes from water, core, and peel. Slice tomatoes in half; remove and discard seeds and liquid. Cut the flesh into 1/4-inch dice.

  2. Step 2

    Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic cloves; cook until well browned all over, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Raise heat to medium; simmer sauce until tomatoes break down somewhat to a saucy consistency, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and discard garlic. The tomato sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Martha Stewart Living, March 2001



Reviews (1)

  • pavlova 6 Jan, 2008

    This is a great recipe! It's a handy basic, which although is already tasty would be great with different herbs, wines...and eaten in different ways. It's even great on toast with butter.