The Easiest Summer Tomato Sauce Recipe

Do you want a summer tomato sauce recipe that is not only quick and versatile but also a great way to make use of the bountiful tomato harvest from your garden? 
After several seasons of splattering the ceiling, filling the sink, and testing relationships we have two sauce methods everyone can do. It’s worth a marathon day of saucing to pull a quart out of the freezer in February and taste summer. Yum!

HHF Tip: Plant a lot of tomatoes! If you dream of harvesting your own homegrown sauce, Plant 20! Yes, 20 tomato plants. You’ll have enough to play with and it will decrease your rage against squirrels exponentially!


HHF Tip: Birds eating your plants? Add a bird bath! Birds peck holes in tomatoes when it’s hot and dry because they need water. Add a fresh water source and they’ll leave your vines alone!

Tomato sauce recipe garden

Meet Marcella Hazan, the Tomato Sauce Boss

Before we dive into the recipes, let's take a moment to appreciate the culinary genius, Marcella Hazan. She was an Italian cookbook author known for her simple, yet flavorful recipes. Her tomato sauce recipe, which inspired this easy version, has become a staple in many kitchens around the world. Buy her book Essentials of Italian Cooking.

The OG Recipe

This recipe requires only a handful of ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your pantry. Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 pounds of ripe tomatoes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half and place them on a baking sheet, cut side up.
  3. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast the tomatoes in the oven for about 30 minutes or until they are soft and slightly caramelized.
  5. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  6. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the saucepan and sauté until they are soft and translucent.
  7. Once the tomatoes are roasted, remove them from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
  8. Transfer the roasted tomatoes to the saucepan with the onions and garlic.
  9. Using a spoon, gently mash the tomatoes to release their juices.
  10. Simmer the sauce over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Add salt and pepper to taste.

HHF Tip: We like to use a combination of different Tomato types. Paste + Beefsteak or Heirloom + Pear/Cherry

The HHF way

  • 2 pounds of ripe tomatoes
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil or butter
  • 4 whole cloves of garlic smashed, optional
  • Fresh Aromatics: Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Red Pepper
  • 3” Tomato vine (this adds a fresh tomato taste) 
  • 1 tsp Maldon salt and pepper, red chili flake to taste
  1. Fill a Dutch oven with fresh ripe tomatoes. Cut large tomatoes in quarters.
  2. Quarter 1 large onion and add to pot
  3. Add salt and pepper and any aromatics, oregano, thyme, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes 
  4. Cut butter into hunks and add to pot
  5. Add 3” of tomato vine
  6. Cover and Cook overnight at 200°F
  7. After 8+ hours of cooking pass softened sauce through a food mill or blend with a Vitamix and season to taste. 
  8. Refrigerate for up to 1 week or Freeze for up to a year. Makes 2 quarts

How to Use Your Tomato Sauce

Your tomato sauce can be used as a base all winter.
Here are a few ideas:

  • Serve it over capellini with fresh basil and Parmesan for a light fresh weeknight meal. We love to add frozen peas for a pop.
  • Add tomato paste and use it as a base for homemade pizza or flatbread.
  • The BEST Tomato Soup. Bring 1 quart base to a simmer and reduce by 1/3. Stir in 1 tsp sherry vinegar.  Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream. Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh basil and a grilled cheese sandwich
  • Add to soups or stews to give them a rich tomato flavor. Short Ribs. Just sayin.
  • Spread it on toast with olive oil and salt for a snack.

We use one of these recipes each time we harvest a pile of tomatoes. Remember, the beauty of these recipes lies in simplicity. Feel free to experiment with additional herbs and spices to suit your taste.

Happy cooking!



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