Fresh tomato sauce

Total Time
32 min
10 min
22 min
A fresh tomato sauce is a joy even in winter, thanks to our markets overflowing with tomatoes from south of the border. There are infinite ways to use this sauce, as the notes describe, but our favorite still involves spooning it over a warm bowl of a spaghetti and twirling away! Honey gets added to the sauce pot to balance the natural acidity of tomatoes and enhance the natural sweetness of the tomatoes; they are a fruit, after all!


Cooking spray

2 spray(s)


1 medium, finely chopped


2 clove(s), minced

Plum tomato

12 medium, finely chopped (reserve juice)


2 Tbsp, leaves, chopped

Fresh oregano

1 Tbsp, chopped

Fresh thyme

1 tsp, stemmed


1 tsp

Table salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

½ tsp, freshly ground

Red pepper flakes

¼ tsp


  1. Spray a large saucepan with nonstick spray and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until soft, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and all their juice; stir well and continue cooking until they begin to simmer.
  3. Stir in the basil, oregano, thyme, honey, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Serving Size: 1/2 cup.


If you're going to use fresh tomatoes, also use fresh herbs for the best taste.Make a double batch and freeze half for dinner on another night.7 Things to do with Fresh Tomato Sauce:Baked Italian Chicken Pour sauce over skinless bone-in chicken thighs in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven until bubbling and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into one of the thighs without touching bone registers 180ºF, about 35 minutes.Baked PotatoesSlice open a freshly baked potato and spoon on sauce as a topping. Dip/SalsaPour half the sauce into a blender; blend until just smooth. Use as a dip for vegetables or toasted pita rounds. Stir 1 chopped, seeded jalapeno chili into the chunky sauce, if desired.FishPour the sauce into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish; heat in a preheated 350ºF oven for 10 minutes. Lay fish fillets on top of sauce; bake until the fish flakes when gently scraped with a fork, about 10 minutes.Mussels MarinaraStir 3 pounds of cleaned and de-bearded mussels into the sauce after it's thickened. Cover and simmer until the mussels have opened, about 4 minutes. Discard any mussels that don't open.PizzaBlend all the sauce in the blender until smooth; spread onto a purchased whole wheat pizza crust. Top with vegetables and a little low-fat mozzarella or goat cheese; bake as directed on the crust's package.Shrimp and Rice CasseroleStir 3 cups cooked brown rice and 1 1/2 pounds cleaned and deveined medium shrimp (about 30 per pound) into the sauce. Pour into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the top with 2 ounces grated low-fat Cheddar. Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven until bubbling, about 35 minutes.