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Garden Tomato Sauce

WebMD Recipe from

Total Time: 2 1/4 hrs

Garden Tomato Sauce

This garden-fresh tomato sauce is a delicious way to use summer-ripe tomatoes. Or freeze whole tomatoes and make this sauce later on in the winter. Just remove the cores and freeze them whole. Then, turn your frozen tomatoes into a garden-fresh sauce any time of the year. For pizza sauce: In Step 2, cook until thickened to about the consistency of pizza sauce, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from the heat, transfer to a blender, add 2 tablespoons tomato paste and blend until smooth.


  • 5 pounds cored whole tomatoes, fresh or frozen
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar, (optional)


Step 1
If using fresh tomatoes, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Make a small X in the bottom of each tomato and plunge into the boiling water until the skins are slightly loosened, 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water for 1 minute. Peel with a paring knife, starting at the X. If using frozen tomatoes, run each under warm water and peel or rub the skin off. Thaw in the refrigerator or defrost in the microwave until mostly thawed. Chop the tomatoes, reserving any juice.
Step 2
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes (and any juice), basil, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper and sugar (if using). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or sugar.

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