Fresh Tomato Sauce 


1,000 Italian Recipes

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This sauce is unusual because it does not begin with the usual onion or garlic cooked in olive oil or butter. Instead, the aromatics are simmered along with the tomatoes so the sauce has a delicate vegetable flavor. Serve it with any of the fresh pastas or as a sauce for a frittata or other omelet.

Makes3 cups



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, gluten-free, healthy, lactose-free, low calorie, low carb, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Equipmentfood mill, food processor

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Textureherby, light, savory

Type of Dishsauces


  • 4 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small celery rib, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the tomatoes, carrot, onion, celery, a pinch of salt, and basil. Cover the pot and cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.

  2. Let cool slightly. Pass the sauce through a food mill or puree it in a food processor or blender. Reheat gently and taste for seasoning. Stir in the oil. Serve hot. Can be made ahead and stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 2 months.


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