Organic Summer Tomato Sauce

This was originally posted last summer. I wanted to repost it now because I see tomatoes growing in gardens everywhere. Soon, the growers will have too many tomatoes to eat, and this sauce is a great way to use them. And if you don’t grow your own, the farmer’s markets are full of delicious, heirloom, organic summer tomatoes.


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.



2 thoughts on “Organic Summer Tomato Sauce”

  1. Cheryl,
    I will be on the look out for San Marzano tomatoes (silly me thought they only grew in Italy, like Champagne grapes). I’ve learned something new today.
    How lovely to be able to use your mom’s food mill.

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