Caitlin’s Kitchen: Homemade Fresh Tomato Sauce

Picture this: it’s late August and suddenly you have a boat load of tomatoes ripe and red in your garden. What is there to do but make homemade fresh tomato sauce?

I may have a bit of Italian in my blood (shout out to grandma’s cousins in Toronto!) but Italian food hasn’t been passed down recipe by recipe in my family. My suite mates from college, all who are very Italian, taught me that gravy means you start your sauce with meat and that calzones require you to yell at each other the entire time you bake. That being said, please take my tomato sauce recipe with a grain of salt (and add a grain of salt, while you’re at it!)

While doing some research, I came across the new-to-me fact that plum tomatoes are the best tomatoes for sauce. They have lots of flesh and not as many seeds. Low and behold, the day I decided to partake in the endeavor that is making tomato sauce, I had picked about a dozen plum tomatoes from our garden.

It was so exciting taking our tomatoes, which were grown with so much love, and turning them into something I’ve always bought from the grocery store. Of course, I made sauce once and then had this vision in my head of opening a little farmer’s market stand and selling it for a living. Hey, a teacher needs a summer hobby, am I right?

If making tomato sauce seems out of reach- don’t worry. If I could do it, you certainly can!

Homemade Fresh Tomato Sauce


1 Sweet Onion

3 Cloves of Garlic

A Dozen Plum Tomatoes

1 Handful Fresh Basil

1 Handful Dried Oregano

1 Pinch of Salt


1. Chop and sauté an onion in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until translucent. Remove skin from garlic cloves and add, whole, to the pan. Continue stirring, over heat, for another minute.

2. In a food processor or blender, crush tomatoes until slightly smooth. Add to the skillet and increase heat slightly. Bring sauce to a boil and then turn down the temperature, simmering for ten minutes.

3. Add herbs to the skillet and stir together. Cook for five more minutes or until sauce has thickened to your liking. (Note: the longer you cook your tomatoes, the sweeter the sauce. 15-20 minutes total seems to be the sweet spot)

4. Remove from heat and allow to cool or serve over fresh pasta with a side of garlic bread.

Again, if I’ve broken any unspoken Italian rules, please forgive me. However, I loved how this sauce came out and can’t wait to make it again.

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