Homemade Tomato Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes – It’s Simple!
July 14, 2019
So, you want to make tomato sauce the traditional way. Fresh. But where do you start? This recipe will have you making homemade tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes in no time!
If you’re tired of pre-made (often unhealthy) sauces, and are looking for a more whole food approach to cooking, you’re in the right place.
Forget tinned tomato sauces with their added chemicals, because this healthy recipe gives you a versatile, easy, and might I say delicious way to a more natural kitchen.
After this, you’ll be able to make your own authentic tomato sauce to accompany your favourite fish, healthy Italian dishes, salads, and more! You can even bring some to your next gathering if you want to impress! 😉
“Let’sa get cooking!”
Authentic Healthy Recipe – ‘Homemade Tomato Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes’
Approx. Total Time:
Approx. Active Time:
Mediterranean / Italian
Easy / Beginner
First Thing’s First – The Tools!
Here’s the equipment you will need to get started. We only need a few key kitchen items that you are bound to have lying around! We are focusing on a traditional approach to this, and that means simplicity!
- A saucepan – you will need this for multiple purposes, so you can either use two, or use the same one – it’s entirely up to you! Using a single saucepan being more efficient.
- A sharp knife – we’re going to be doing some chopping, so make sure you have a quality, sharp knife for the best efficiency and safety.
- A wooden spoon – a large enough metal (or heat-resistant food-grade plastic) spoon will also do.
- A plate or chopping board – use whichever is easiest for you, of course!
And that’s it! Nice and easy. Now, let’s get our the ingredients!
Your Fresh Ingredients
When picking up these ingredients, try to select those of the best quality you can find. Ripeness is key, and if you can get organic, that’s even better. We’re trying to make one that’s as delicious as possible, and there’s nothing better than mother nature’s own choice!
If you want to sauce that can really impress, and one to benefit health, follow these guidelines:
How your sauce turns out depends on the type of tomato you use…
When making homemade fresh tomato sauce, certain tomato varieties are better than others. Tomatoes are highly beneficial, particularly due to their vitamin C and lycopene antioxidant (^)! They can help to reduce inflammation, text our bodies, and even reduce cholesterol together (^)(^).
- For a classic full-bodied Italian-style sauce, you’ll want to use plum tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are definitely the best for this – they help to add some thickness and a pleasantly sharp flavour.
- If you can’t find these, any large variety should also work, but try to use any that are thicker and less juicy. In this respect, beefsteak tomatoes can be used but won’t yield the best results.
- Getting your tomatoes in summer or spring, when they are in season, is the best option. For ripeness, check for those that are a bright red colour with a firm texture. Vine-ripened tomatoes would be the best candidates.
Olive Oil – What Kind to Really Use!
When using olive oil of any kind, you want to be careful with what you do. Adding olive oil to your tomato sauce can greatly amplify the sauce’s benefits. One study even found that doing so can help to greater reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors(^).
When making homemade tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes, this is one of your best friends.
Why the Variety Used Matters
Quite simply, Extra Virgin Olive Oil should be used for this ‘homemade tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes’…
It’s best to avoid Virgin, Pure, or Refined for such fresh recipes.
- Extra virgin olive oil varieties are much healthier and incredibly more flavourful. They contain less chemicals from processing, too. For authenticity and flavour, there’s no competition.
- Virgin or “pure” olive oils are slightly more stable for higher heat. Virgin olive oil can be used for high-heat sautéing or baking when cooking. They do not contain some of the beneficial phytonutrients of extra virgin, meaning they might produce every-so-slightly higher levels trans fat at very high heat. But, we’re only using medium heat, so this isn’t necessary. These oils will provide less flavour.
- You could use refined, but for an authentic recipe, it isn’t ideal… Use refined or virgin if only you’re deep-frying at very high heats… Which I wouldn’t recommend anyway! For this homemade tomato sauce recipe we won’t be reaching any heats too high, so Extra-Virgin is better. You’ll have less flavour and health benefits using refined.
For more information, visit this post: How Olive Oil Benefits Health – A True Mediterranean Gold!
Your Herbs (Plus Some Salt)
A perfect tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes doesn’t actually need these. But, the herbs add a lot more flavour and also some health benefits. If you don’t want to add them, then don’t – a tomato sauce even in its fundamental form is still versatile and delicious… And healthy!
But, I know many of you will want to add them! Look at this list with some tips on selecting the perfect ingredients if you want the best sauce you can get.
(Remember: Organic or organic home-grown is best)
- Garlic – When picking garlic, there’s not much you need to know. Choose garlic with firm and unbroken skin. It shouldn’t be damp or “moisture-y”.
You can use garlic with green sprouts, but some people chop them off. They give a slightly more bitter garlic taste, which honestly I like. Plus it’s still versatile.
- Salt – For the sauce, try to use just plain sea salt. Using basic ingredients is rewarding in flavour, nutrition, and tradition. If you have any salt mixed in with a few herbs or chili that would pair well with tomato sauce, you can also use that. But, we’ll be adding our own herbs, so try not to use too much.
- Thyme – For a higher quality and savour, fresh thyme is perfect. If you would rather use dried, that works to add a pleasant flavour too.
The same goes for all of the herbs here. It’s just that fresh herbs contain more nutrients, and therefore more flavour.
- Oregano – Oregano is a member of the mint family, and once again gives more flavour when fresh. Of course, dried is still beneficial and flavourful. Thyme is a creeping plant, so naturally twist and turn a little.
- Basil – A classic Italian herb, you’ll find basil in much of this cuisine. It gives an amazing aroma, especially when fresh, but even dried packs in a great taste.
Basil is also a member of the mint family. Look for a bright green leaves and a pleasant aroma, and note that the great basil variety will work best in this recipe.
Full Ingredient List
Tomatoes (preferably Roma) – 2 to 2.5kg (or 4.5 pounds) ~ 12 – 15 medium tomatoes.
Olive Oil (Extra Virgin) – 350ml (or 1/2 cup), plus some to taste.
Sea Salt – To Taste
Garlic – 1 – 2 cloves
Thyme – 1tsp dried, or 2 fresh leaves
Oregano – 1tsp dried, or 1tbsp fresh
Basil – 1tbsp dried, or 5 fresh leaves
Total ~ 675 – 765 calories
Getting Down to It – The Fun Part (Recipe)!
So, we have all of our ingredients and equipment setup and ready to go. The next thing is simply to get straight into it!
The following steps should be easy to follow, and if you have any questions feel free to comment down below for an answer!
This recipe will give you about 4 servings.
Time needed: 30 minutes.
Classic Fresh Tomato Sauce Recipe
- Set Some Cold or Iced Water Aside
Set a bowl or container of cold or iced water, big enough for all of your tomatoes. We will use this later.
- Bring Saucepan To Boil
Bring 1 Saucepan of water to the boil. Make sure you can fit your tomatoes in.
- Score Tomatoes and Boil for 1 Minute
Score the bottom of your tomatoes with a small ‘x’ shape, and add to the water. Boil for about 1 minute
- Add Tomatoes to Water to Cool Slightly, then Peel
Next, remove the tomatoes and place into your cold or iced water. Once they are warm enough to handle (not too cold or icy), peel off the skin (this should happen quite easily).
- Dice The Tomatoes
Carefully dice all of your peeled tomatoes into small (~1 inch) squares.
- Simmer The Garlic and Olive Oil
In an empty saucepan, bring olive oil (350ml) to a gentle simmer over light-medium heat. Peel your garlic and gently crush. Alternatively, dice the garlic for a stronger taste. Add it to the oil and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add The Herbs, Tomatoes, and Salt
Next, add your herbs into your saucepan. If using fresh herbs, the thyme is fine to roughly slice. You can slice the other herbs similarly, but rolling together first, with the smaller leaves in the middle will give you unbruised, neat slices.
Now you can add your tomatoes (and any of their leftover juices), and season with sea salt.
- Bring to a Medium Heat until Sauce Thickens
Stir the sauce well, and bring up to a rolling simmer over medium heat. Leave until a thicker texture occurs, and the tomatoes are easy to break up (around 15 minutes). For the best results, stir frequently and mash the tomatoes using a wooden spoon and the saucepan.
- Mix, add Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Serve, and Enjoy!
At this point, lower the heat and mash until your desired texture is achieved. You can get a thinner texture, or leave it a bit more rustic.Turn off the heat.
Finally, add EVOO as you’d like to flavour it! Serve with your meals, snacks, or favourite Mediterranean and Italian recipes.
In this lesson we have learned an effective and straightforward recipe to make a traditional, authentic tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes.
We have also covered a little bit about tomatoes, their health benefits, and how to pick the right ones for sauces. Not only that, but you got some useful tips on how to pick the best quality of ingredients in this recipe!
There’s also a little bit of extra detail, but for those making this for the first time that is perfect. It will give you a better end result, and help you learn some useful knowledge along the way!
Tomato sauce is a very versatile and healthy ingredient that goes well with many dishes, especially Italian and Mediterranean recipes.
This recipe is simple and requires only a few easily accessible ingredients, and no doubt will raise eyebrows!
If you enjoyed learning about this, please let me know in the comments below. If you have any questions or suggestions, go ahead and share them – I’ll always respond. 🙂
Until next time, stay healthy
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