Fresh Tomato Sauce

  • Yield : About 6 cups
  • Servings : 6
  • Prep Time : 20m
  • Cook Time : 40m
  • Ready In : 60m
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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.

  • Calories

  • Calories from Fat

  • Total Fat

  • Saturated Fat

  • Trans Fat

  • Cholesterol

  • Sodium

  • Carbohydrates

  • Dietary Fiber

  • Sugar

  • Protein

  • Serving Size:

    1 cup (240 ml)

No jarred, canned, and very few restaurant fresh tomato sauce comes close homemade sauce made with vine ripened tomatoes from your garden or a farmers market.  Easy variety of tomato (Roma, slicing, cherry, grape) has its own unique flavor.

Depending on the type and ripeness of tomatoes used, the color of your sauce will very. More white in your tomatoes, the lighter the color. Leaving the seeds will also produce a lighter sauce. Leaving or removing the seeds is a personal preference.

Americans are used to dark red commercially prepared tomato sauce. Although vine ripened tomatoes appear red, they have a yellow-orange coloration. The original tomato native to the Americas were yellow which explains the Italian work for tomato, pomodoro, or golden apple. It is not the color, but the taste that counts. If desired, you can use yellow or any other color tomato in this recipe.

I didn’t realize I’d forgotten the flavor of fresh, homemade tomato sauce, until I visited my Italian relatives in 2011. An aunt prepared pasta with tomato sauce. It was a very simple, light meal after a long flight from Arizona to Southern Italy.

The flavor of the sauce blew me away. A simple, meatless tomato sauce with a complex flavor I hadn’t experienced in years. It was like nothing I’d tasted anywhere in the United States.

When I had a bunch of very ripe cherry tomatoes from my garden, I decided to make a simple sauce and pasta for dinner. That wonderful flavor of my aunt’s sauce returned to me.

For maximum flavor use the best vine ripened tomatoes available in your area.

Buon Appetito!


If vine ripened tomatoes are not available in your area, you can substitute good quality, no salt added, whole or diced canned tomatoes.


For a chunky, marinara style sauce, use diced tomatoes and do not puree.



  • 3 lbs. (1350 g) fresh or canned tomatoes
  • 1 (200 g) medium onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • Pinch of ground anise (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) dried basil or oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons (30 to 60 ml) water if using fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) granulated sugar (optional)

Method of Preparation

Step 1

For Fresh Tomatoes

Step 2

Bring 1 gallon/4 liters of water to a boil on high heat (enough water to cover the tomatoes). Have ice water bath ready to cool the tomatoes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, use a sharp knife to score an "X" in the bottom of each tomato to make skin removal easier.

Step 4

Carefully add all or half of the tomatoes to the boiling water and cook 30 to 60 seconds or until skin begins to wrinkle. remove using a slotted spoon and transfer to ice water to stop the cooking. Use a knife or your fingers to remove the skin.

Step 5

Quarter the tomatoes. Remove and discard the stem area.

Step 6

Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat and sauce onion 5 to 8 minutes or until translucent.

Step 7

Add remaining ingredients including water if using fresh tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in herbs. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 to 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. Stir in sugar if sauce tastes acidic.

Step 8

Remove and discard bay leaf. Use a hand blender, food mill, or blender to puree the sauce. For a Marinara style sauce, leave chunks of tomato or omit this step.