Simple Tomato Sauce

We made pizzas last night. As I headed for the market for a jar of sauce, I remembered my new mantra: “Shop at home.” That's why we tore up our lawn and planted a veggie garden, right?

We have so many tomatoes in the back - they are rotting on the vine. My mom generously brought us fresh shallots and garlic last week and I can always rustle up some olive oil and salt. Plus, it is one more use for that glorious mini basil before the weather really turns cold. Okay, I told myself, get out the saucepan.


4 cups ripe tomatoes (canned are fine too)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large shallots (or one medium yellow onion), finely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
salt to taste
chopped herbs: fresh basil, marjoram, oregano, or parsley

If tomatoes aren’t in season, or if you want the ease of canned crushed tomatoes, feel free. Just remember to use the juice as well. With fresh tomatoes, core and submerge in hot water until the skins loosen (just under a minute). When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove skins and roughly chop. Or, I simply plunge my hands into the bowl of skinless, softened tomatoes and crush them between my fingers until the consistency is fairly even.

Heat saucepan over medium heat; add olive oil, garlic, shallots/onion, and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook for a minute or two until ingredients are glistening, but not browned. Add tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered until the sauce thickens to your liking. Add freshly chopped herbs. Usually 15 minutes is enough for a basic sauce – add another 5 or so minutes to thicken for a pizza sauce. To insure a smooth creamy texture, I recommend running the concoction through the blender.

A quick shopping trip would have taken just as long as it did to make this tasty sauce at home.

Makes 2 Cups


  1. Love all your recipes and ideas - especially as this is my third year with a garden and I am going to force myself to really use more of my goods v letting them waste and buying store stuff.

    1. Thank you Melissa:) My garden is still a work in progress too. I 'm looking out there this morning thinking... hmmmm.... what am I gonna make that needs lots of fennel and cilantro? So much more satisfying to cook from the garden, then taking another trip to the market.
      I love to hear from fellow gardeners - you inspired me too!


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