November 18, 2018

Heirloom Tomato Sauce

Why is this tomato sauce different from all other tomato sauces?

Good question, I’m glad you asked. As anyone knows who has taken my pasta level 1 class, I start all of my pasta sauces off with garlic, red pepper flakes and olive oil.

However, in this sauce, I don’t want even the slightest kick from the red pepper flakes. Don’t get me wrong, they would be delicious in here. Yet this sauce was created for a dish far more delicate than pasta. It was made to be eaten on top of an eggplant and burrata roll-up. The burrata is delicate in flavor and I didn’t want anything to overpower it. Hence, the trick to this sauce is to highlight only the sweetness of the tomatoes and keep it as simple as possible.

Does that mean I can’t eat it with pasta?

No! It would be amazing with pasta. Top with parmigiano reggiano and some toasted pine nuts if you like.

What else can I eat it with?

As far as I’m concerned you can put it in a mug and drink it! It would be wonderful to use to make an eggplant parmigiana or a lasagna. As a sauce to top fish and chicken, I actually think it is too delicate and you would want a little more of a kick. Be inventive and try things out. You tell me what you like it with.

You say to cook it on low for several hours? Do I have to do this? What if I am rushed?

Then turn up the flame!! But with a low flame you are ensuring the delicacy of the tomato sauce. Sometimes we all have to speed things up and that is ok.


  • extra virgin olive oil, to generously coat pan, about ⅓ cup
  • mixed colors of heirloom tomatoes – about 1 ½ pounds – chopped, removing the center brown spot that was attached to the vine
  • a handful of basil leaves – no need to cut them!
  • two cloves of garlic
  • salt, kosher, a good teaspoon



  1. Put pan over medium heat while you prepare your ingredients.
  2. Add olive oil and garlic.
  3. Let garlic infuse its flavor into the olive oil for a few minutes. Watch the bubbles. Don’t let garlic burn.
  4. Add tomatoes and stir.
  5. Add basil and stir.
  6. Let saute for a couple minutes.
  7. Add salt, stir and, lower heat to medium low and let tomatoes cook for about 2 hours.
  8. When soft enough, smush tomatoes down with a fork or with the back of wooden spoon.
  9. Taste sauce. If you want it to be a little thicker cook longer.


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