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Tomato Sauce to Make Grandma Proud

Tomato Sauce to Make Grandma Proud

Throughout the summer and early fall I make a lot of tomato sauce. A whole lot. If I had a larger freezer I’d make even more! Living in Philadelphia I have easy access to what I consider the very best tomatoes for sauce making: New Jersey tomatoes. Throughout the summer the husband and I make several trips past a particular farm stand on Route 70 and stop each time to stock up on several pounds of Jersey tomatoes each time.

This past weekend we picked up over 3 pounds of bright, red, fragrant beauties which I decided to turn into pasta sauce. The best pasta sauce takes a lot of time, but fairly few ingredients. Most of the time is spent boiling down and thickening the sauce so a rainy afternoon would be a perfect time to take on this recipe ;-)


  • 3.25 pounds of chopped New Jersey (preferably) tomatoes

  • 14–16 oz diced sweet onion (I prefer Vidalia)

  • 0.08 oz peeled and sliced garlic (15-20 cloves of varied size)

  • 0.07 oz roughly chopped basil (about 3 cups)

  • 1 Tbs each dried basil and dried oregano

  • 1 Tbs salt

  • 3 Tbs olive oil


In a large stock pot add the olive oil and diced onion over mediumish heat. The goal here is to cook the onions until translucent. This will take about 10-12 minutes depending on the size of your stock pot and the amount of heat you’re using. Be sure to stir the onions so they don’t burn.


Once the onions are translucent, add in the sliced garlic and cook for another 5–7 minutes until the garlic is really fragrant.


When the garlic is fragrant dump in the chopped tomatoes and salt. Cover, bring to a medium boil, and cook for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally. There is no need for any additional liquid or stock as the salt will bring out the liquid in the tomatoes and help to break them down.


Once the tomato mixture is good and broken down, add in the dried basil and dried oregano. Re-cover and continue to cook at a low boil for another 15 minutes.

When the dried ingredients have been incorporated it’s time to grab your stick blender and go to town! I like my sauce pretty smooth so I make sure to blend out all of the chunks.

Once the sauce is blended to your liking, now it’s time to add in the roughly chopped basil (YUM!). Stir that basil around to mix it into the sauce and leave the pot uncovered. Reduce the heat to very low (while still maintaining a low simmer) and cook until it’s the thickness you like!


Easy peasy!

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