Homemade Tomato Sauce


A true crowd pleaser, tomato sauce is an umami-packed essential that all home cooks should try making from scratch at least once. While nothing beats the ease of jarred sauce, making tomato sauce yourself allows you to tailor the sauce to your palette and avoid any artificial flavors or preservatives that are often included in jarred sauces. For me, the best tomato sauce is simple, and only includes a few key ingredients that augment the flavor of what I believe is already a perfect food: tomatoes. Every home cook has their own tomato sauce recipe, so feel free to use mine as a guideline to create one that speaks to you.


  • 3 lbs of large tomatoes, any variety
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (more if you like it spicy)
  • 2-3 sprigs of herbs of your choice, such as basil, parsley, or oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of water to boil. Using a sharp knife, create a shallow cuts across the bottoms of the tomatoes in the shape of an "X," taking care to avoid cutting through anything more than just the skin. The cuts should extend inch from one side of the stem all the way across the bottom to the opposite side.

Once the water comes to a rolling boil, dip the tomatoes into the boiling water until you see the edges of the skins around the cuts begin to curl or loosen just slightly, about 30 seconds. Remove the tomatoes from the water to a work surface, and then once cool enough to touch, peel the skins of the tomatoes. They should come off easily, but if you are having trouble, place them in the boiling water for another 30 seconds.

In a food processor or blender, combine peeled tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, and salt to taste. Blend until smooth. Pour the tomato mixture into a medium pot or dutch oven and add herbs. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Then reduce to low and simmer, stirring occasionally until thick and saucy, about 25-30 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as desired.