Organic Fresh San Marzano Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes are everywhere! Summer’s abundance of fresh, locally grown, heirloom and supermarket tomatoes always amazes me. I remember the days of only round cherry tomatoes and tasteless red slicing tomatoes in the market. Now, there are so many heirloom varieties being grown, making them available at farmer’s markets and conventional supermarkets.

My friend Loretta is a Tomato Goddess. She grows these amazing, juicy, sweet, fat, luscious tomatoes every year. Lots of varietals, lots of colors, and lots of flavor! She tells me her four year old son raids the plants, darting between the rows, picking the ripe fruits and stuffing them into his mouth as fast as he can! I don’t blame him.

She came to visit the other day and brought me fresh San Marzano tomatoes from her garden. I have only seen this variety canned, usually imported from Italy. They do make delicious sauce, so I knew that was the fate of those lovelies you see pictured above.

Making a good sauce only requires patience. Tomato sauce needs to bubble and simmer for awhile for all the flavors to marry into a sweet and tangy sauce. Make sure the wine you add to the sauce is one you would drink.  I always say, never cook with a wine you couldn’t pour a glass of for a guest. Or drink a glass of while you are cooking. . .

Once you get it all in the pot, you let it bubble and simmer away.

And hour later you have a gorgeous sauce.

I like to put my sauce through a food mill to puree it.  This mill was part of my mom’s pots and pans set. It’s designed to fit right over one of the set’s saucepans, so you could puree right into the pot!

One of the reasons I like a food mill is that I do not have to peel the tomatoes before chopping and cooking. Not that peeling tomatoes is hard, but if I can skip a step somewhere, I’m good. If you don’t have a food mill, I would suggest peeling the tomatoes. Head on over to my friend Tori’s blog The Shiksa in the Kitchen, for a tutorial on how to peel tomatoes.



Recipe: Organic Fresh San Marzano Tomato Sauce


  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds fresh San Marzano tomatoes, or other ripe summer tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup dry red wine


  1. Heat the oil over over medium heat in a large, deep skillet or pot.
  2. Cook the onion 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, salt, basil, oregano, thyme and pepper. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is very fragrant.
  4. Add the tomatoes and wine, stirring to mix well.
  5. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce to a low simmer, and let cook for 50 minutes to one hour. Stir the sauce occasionally to make sure the sauce is not reducing too quickly.
  6. Pass the tomato sauce through a food mill, or puree in a food processor. Adjust the seasoning as needed.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 15 minute(s)

Makes 3 cups of tomato sauce.



Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

14 thoughts on “Organic Fresh San Marzano Tomato Sauce”

  1. Yes, you can use a slow cooker to make the sauce. I always say if you like to drink the wine, use it to cook with too! Those flavors you like will translate to your food.

  2. Made double recipe of this today. Tastes bland. (doubled everything). The sauce is not bright red, but darker from red wine. Any help?

  3. Can you use a slow cooker on low? This would be my preference. Also, what type of dry red wine would you recommend?

  4. I tried this as i grow my own san marzano and it was delicious, am making a second batch today, thankyou.

  5. It’s all in the tomatoes you use. Those were fresh San Marzano tomatoes, which are THE sauce tomato in Italy. they were grown by a friend. If you have a garden, you could plant some yourself next season.

    But, the supermarkets often have canned San Marzano tomatoes, which are very good. Those will work just fine in this recipe.

    And don’t forget the red wine!

  6. This pizza sauce looks amazing! I tried using fresh tomatoes the first few times that I made pizza sauce, but it always turned out a pale orange color instead of red and a little bland tasting. Yours looks very red and very flavorful. Is there a secret to getting that nice deep red sauce?

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