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Tomato Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes

Put those tomatoes to good use and make our tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes! While buying store-bought sauce is simple, our homemade recipe is a labor of love and takes time to prepare- but as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. This sauce is completely worth the wait! 

Homemade tomato sauce, red sauce, or Sunday gravy, you can call it whatever you would want; use ours to finish meals like spaghetti and meatballs, ratatouille, or chicken parmesan.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Tomatoes: Three varieties of tomatoes create the base for our tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes; I use a combination of large tomatoes, vine-ripe tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes.
  • Garlic: I use a whole garlic head, but don’t let my recipe tell you how much garlic to use – go for it.
  • Olive Oil: Saute vegetables and garlic in olive oil. 
  • Onion and Green Bell Pepper: Sautéed onion and green bell pepper soften and release their sugar to sweeten the sauce.
  • Tomato Paste: Tomato paste thickens and adds color to the mixture. 
  • Sherry: Deglaze the pan and flavor the tomato sauce with sherry.
  • Butter: Butter finishes the sauce with a nice creaminess.
  • Seasoning: Season with dried oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.
  • Soy Sauce: Soy sauce provides salt, umami, and a hint of sweetness.
  • Sugar: I add a little sugar to cut the acidity and create balance. 
  • Garnish: Finish the tomato sauce with fresh basil and parsley; fresh herbs are a game-changer.

HOW TO MAKE TOMATO SAUCE FROM FRESH TOMATOES 

Line the tomatoes onto a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.

GATHER – Spread the large tomatoes, vine tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and garlic onto a rimmed baking sheet; generously drizzle with olive oil.

Bake the vegetables.

BAKE – Set the oven to 350° F | 176 ° C and bake until the ingredients become tender for about 25-30 minutes. Set them aside to cool.

Saute onions and bell pepper with olive oil and tomato paste.

SAUTE – Warm two tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add the onions and green bell peppers. Cook until the onions soften and become translucent.

Using tongs, squeeze the garlic head to release the cloves into the pan with the onions. Add the tomato paste and dry sherry; saute for 2-5 minutes until the alcohol smell fades.

Peel the skins off of the cooked tomato.

PEEL – Using your hands, peel the skins off the cooked tomatoes and crush them over the Dutch oven. Throw in a basil sprig and bring the mixture to a boil.

Crush the tomatoes before adding them to the tomato sauce.

SIMMER – Reduce the heat, cover with the lid slightly ajar, and gently simmer for 15-20 until the tomatoes break down. Adjust the heat if the mixture begins bubbling too much.

BLEND – Remove the basil sprig and use an immersion blender to incorporate the sauce until smooth; you can add the mixture to a blender or food processor for this step.

Skip it if you prefer chunky tomato sauce.

SEASON – Add butter and season with oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper; simmer for 30 minutes to develop the flavor.

ADD – Off heat, stir in the soy sauce and sugar to finish the sauce.

SERVE – Garnish with fresh parsley and basil to serve.

COOKING TIPS

  • Begin with quality ingredients; fresh tomatoes are the key to great-tasting tomato sauce.
  • If you’re cooking in a cast-iron Dutch oven (as pictured) be sure that it is oiled properly. The acidity in the tomatoes break down the coating on the pan leading to a metallic taste no one wants.

SEARCHING FOR MORE LIKE THIS? 

If you love this recipe, we hope you will try one of these Italian-inspired meals!  

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

  • Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • Ratatouille
  • Bolognese
  • Chicken Parmesan
  • Zoodles with Tomato Sauce
  • Lasagna
  • Pasta Pie
  • Eggplant Parmesan
  • Lasagna Roll Ups

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS 

  • FRIDGE – Store leftovers in an air-tight container; it will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.
  • FREEZE – Allow the sauce to cool, then add it to a freezer-safe bag or container. It will last 3-4 months. When you’re ready to use it, defrost it in the fridge overnight.
  • REHEAT – To serve, warm the sauce on the stovetop and prepare your other ingredients.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What’s the difference between marinara sauce and tomato sauce?

Marinara sauce is a quick sauce made with tomatoes, garlic, and a few spices. Tomato sauce tends to be more complex and takes longer to develop.

Should I make tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes or canned?

There are benefits to making tomato sauce with either one. Canned tomatoes use tomatoes picked at peak ripeness, so you can count on them to develop a delicious sauce every time. Canned tomatoes also reduce the cooking time considerably. When fresh tomatoes aren’t in season, use one 28-ounce can of San Marzano’s tomatoes.

Fresh tomatoes cook down into a beautiful sauce, and if you have a surplus of tomatoes or find a great sale, why not make tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes?

YOU SHOULD ALSO TRY: 

Tomato Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes

Tressa Jamil
Make our homemade tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes in the oven to break them down, and add garlic, fresh herbs, butter, and spices.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Appetizer, Preparations, Sauce
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8 People

Ingredients
  

  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 3 vine-ripe tomatoes
  • 1 package cherry tomatoes
  • 1 head garlic, cut off and discard the top third of a garlic head, leaving the head intact.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¼ cup dry sherry
  • 1 sprig basil
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoon s oregano, dried
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoon s salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

For Garnish:

  • 1 tablespoon basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Instructions
 

  • Spread the large tomatoes, vine tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and garlic onto a rimmed baking sheet; generously drizzle with olive oil.
  • Set the oven to 350° F | 176 ° C and bake until the ingredients become tender for about 25-30 minutes. Set them aside to cool.
  • Warm two tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add the onions and green bell peppers. Cook until the onions soften and become translucent.
  • Using tongs, squeeze the garlic head to release the cloves into the pan with the onions. Add the tomato paste and dry sherry; saute for 2-5 minutes until the alcohol smell fades.
  • Using your hands, peel the skins off the cooked tomatoes and crush them over the Dutch oven. Throw in a basil sprig and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat, cover with the lid slightly ajar, and gently simmer for 15-20 until the tomatoes break down. Adjust the heat if the mixture begins bubbling too much.
  • Remove the basil sprig and use an immersion blender to incorporate the sauce until smooth; you can add the mixture to a blender or food processor for this step.
    Skip it if you prefer chunky tomato sauce.
  • Add butter and season with oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper; simmer for 30 minutes to develop the flavor.
  • Off heat, stir in the soy sauce and sugar to finish the sauce.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and basil to serve.

Notes

  • Nutrition Disclosure: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
 
  • Web Story: Check out our web story for homemade tomato sauce. 
Keyword Tomato Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
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