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Fresh Tomato Sauce Recipe – Vegan

spaghetti sauce

Here is a recipe for sauce you can use when you are overwhelmed with tomatoes or have too many that are bruised and not good for much else. The only time-consuming part is reducing the fresh tomato pulp to a workable thickness. Otherwise, it is super simple, containing only tomatoes, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Tastes like summer. 


  • About 12 large tomatoes (partially damaged).
  • 2 cups fresh basil, chopped large and loosely packed.
  • 1/2 cup fresh garlic, large slices.
  • 1 small can tomato paste, 6oz (170g).
  • 3 tsp salt (15ml).
  • 1 tsp black pepper (5ml).


Total volume: About 6 cups =~ 1.4L
Approximate prep time: 30min stock + 30min sauce
Cook Time: 30min reduction + 15-20min cook.

Required Tool: Board Grater

Cut the bruised and rotten pieces from tomatoes (if needed) and soak in water.

tomatoes in

Be very aggressive with cutting out any rotten parts of the tomatoes. I would go a full half inch past any damaged areas. Make sure there is no bad smell from the section you keep. Let them soak fully submerged in water for few minutes to completely rinse.

Grate the tomatoes on board grater.

grating tomatoes for

I got this “grate” idea from some guy on TV while flipping through the channels one day. I can’t give credit because I have no idea who it was… Cut the tomatoes into wedges that are about as wide as the large section of the grater. Start with the pointed edge of the wedge and begin grating the tomato. Rotate it around as needed to get it all but leave the skin and discard it each time.

Reduce sauce. Store it, or add ingredients to finish it fresh.

garlic basil

Congratulations on some fine tomato juice! You’ll see it’s quite thin and watery. Transfer the tomatoes to a pot, add the salt and simmer for 30mins (+/-), stirring often, until the volume has been reduced by 15-20%. (I started out with 7 cups of liquid and ended up with about 6). Avoid a hard boil to prevent breaking down the tomato pulp. The heated mixture of tomatoes and salt will keep well if want to refrigerate it and make the sauce at a later time.

While the tomatoes are simmering after the reduction, add the garlic and cook until they start to become tender (10mins?). Add the tomato paste and pepper and stir until uniform. Add the basil last, turn off the heat and stir the heated mixture to “cook” the basil into the mixture. Let the sauce cool down below the boil point a bit before serving. Stirring it while it cools will help to release steam and thicken if further.


  • Following this recipe, the consistency was good, but not as thick as I would have preferred. Options to improve this are to further reduce the original stock to five cups instead of six, OR, if you are not a vegan, stir in 1/4 – 1/2 cup prepared grated parmesan cheese to thicken.
  • For the very large basil leaves, I cut out the stems to maintain a smooth texture.
  • I have never measured the garlic and basil before, but the numbers I came up with seem close to what I usually do. Obviously, you’ll add what you want. The numbers are for people who want a starting point.

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