I love when I start getting pounds upon pounds of sweet, fresh, delicious tomatoes from the farm each August. I tend to make caprese like it’s going out of style, and I use tomatoes in so many other dishes, but there’s always enough to make at least one, if not several, large batches of sauce. And I absolutely love being able to pluck a container of homemade sauce out of the freezer mid-winter when I want some comfort food.

This is more like rough documentation rather than exact amounts or specific timing. I have a basic process that I like to follow, but I adjust everything to what I’m in the mood for at the time.


  • lots and lots of tomatoes
  • onions
  • carrots
  • celery
  • garlic, minced
  • fresh oregano
  • fresh basil
  • butter and/or olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  1. Slice an X into the bottom of each tomato and boil for 45 seconds. Transfer to a cold water bath. Peel tomatoes. Slice in half and try to remove as many of the seeds as possible. When I’m making a large batch I end up getting rather lazy with seed removal by the time I’ve gone through so many tomatoes. 😉
  2. Dice onion, carrots, and celery and saute for about 10 minutes in a large pan with olive oil and/or butter.
  3. Add garlic, cook for a minute, then add tomatoes.
  4. Simmer for about 45 minutes and remove from heat.
  5. If I want a smooth, less chunky sauce then I’ll puree the sauce to my desired thickness with an immersion blender. Otherwise skip this step for chunky sauce.
  6. Add julienned fresh basil, oregano, more minced garlic, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Bring to a simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  8. Serve as is or cool and store.


A lot of times before serving sauce, whether freshly made or pulled out of the fridge or freezer, I’ll doctor is up quite a bit. I’ve added red wine to batches in the past, but for the most part I’ve found that it makes the sauce a bit too sweet for me, even if I use a bold, dry red. Some of the items I tend to add are:

  • Saute onions and garlic in butter
  • Add meat to the pan (ground beef, pork, or sausage, or maybe chicken thighs)
  • Add other veggies to the pan (most often mushrooms, but sometime eggplant, zucchini, peppers, etc)
  • Add crushed red pepper flakes
  • Then add sauce to pan and add even more fresh basil (and more fresh garlic if you want some bite)
  • Add cream and/or vodka
  • Top with grated fresh Parmesan