Harness Your Inner Italian Grandma And Make This Sauce

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What do you do with two full bags of slightly soft, slightly misshapen tomatoes?  You harness all your Italian Grandma instincts and you get in your kitchen and make sauce.

I found this recipe on a friend’s facebook post as she was discussing what to do with a bucket of tomatoes.  One of her friends (Ginger Alberts Goral thank you for sharing this through the tomato vine) posted this recipe for making sauce.  I have never tried anything other than simmering the tomatoes in a pot on the stove so I had to give it a shot.

Where To Start

I have a favorite farm stand which I have not had a chance to stop at this summer.  I knew that we would be passing it and I made sure that I had cash in my car so that we could stock up on veggies.  As usual this stand did not disappoint.  We left with two bags of almost past their prime tomatoes (exactly what I needed), cherry tomatoes, zucchini, green peppers, baby cucumbers, and patty pan squash.

The next morning was thankfully cool outside as I got both of my ovens heated to 425 degrees and began my sauce experiment with roasted tomatoes.

Want more Sweet Basal Recipes?  Eat your way through these posts.

Italian Veggie Soup, Yummy and Easy Chicken Pot Pie, Maisy’s Lemon Broccoli Pasta

The Process

The process is simple but will require you to be close by your oven for about an hour.  Fold laundry, make breakfast, unload the dishwasher, pack lunches, trust me, you’ll find something to do.

What You Need

  • Tomatoes (the riper the better) – Roma/paste tomatoes work best. I did a pan of Roma and a pan of Heirloom. The Roma produced considerably less juice.  I needed to ladle and discard juice from the Heirloom pan numerous times while roasting.
  • Onion – Sliced into rings
  • Garlic – I used minced garlic since I can never get the smell of my fingers
  • Herbs – Basil (not the insulin kind!) and Oregano fresh from my crazy garden.
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

What You Do

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Core and cut tomatoes in half and arrange on a pan with sides as you do not want tomato juice burning on the bottom of your oven.
  • Slice onion and arrange on top. Add herbs and drizzle some olive oil over tomatoes. Add salt and pepper.


  • Bake for 40 – 70 minutes, checking every 10-20 minutes until slightly blackened and the juice is gone.  My Roma pan roasted faster than the Heirloom pan.
    • Special Note:  You will need to take these pans out every 15 minutes or so and scoop out some of the juice in order to get them to roast.  I found that a ladle worked the best for getting it out.  You do not need to get every ounce of juice out, some will evaporate.


  • Put everything into a blender and blend until chunky/smooth.  Freezes well (but let’s face it, this is getting eaten tonight!)IMG_7794
    • Special Note:  I hate cleaning my blender and food processor so I use my stick blender with reckless abandon.  Just be careful to keep it immersed or you will end up with a sauce covered wall, counter and shirt.
    • Using a stick blender also allows for you to blend the sauce without waiting for it to cool. If you use a blender or food processor please remember to let it cool before putting the lid on.  Take it from one who has cleaned butternut squash soup off her ceiling that this is not a mere suggestion!

Never used a stick blender before?  They are perfect for making smoothies, mashed cauliflower, or crepe batter.  This is a link to my trusty sidekick.

  • While blending I added a bit more fresh, chopped basil as well as about 1-2 teaspoons of sugar and approximately 1/2 -1 additional teaspoon of salt.  I added both slowly and kept tasting.
    •  The sugar helps to cut the acidity of the tomatoes and really smoothes out the flavor.


All The Smells

Ever have a time when you wanted to eat the air in your house?  We ran out to refill some of our local little libraries and when we came home and opened the door I honestly thought we could scoop up the air by the spoonful.

The Taste Test


I think these pictures speak for themselves.  My family has deemed this the best spaghetti we have ever had and the girls went back for seconds.



I served it with meatballs and Dreamfields Pasta which is a pasta that I have found to be very kind to my sugars.  It tastes and feels like any other pasta so it was an easy switch for everyone in my house.

Now get out to your farmer’s market, garden, and favorite farm stand and snag all the ripe tomatoes you can find and get roasting!

Eat Well My Friends.

Want more Sweet Basal Recipes?  Eat your way through these posts.

Italian Veggie Soup, Yummy and Easy Chicken Pot Pie, Maisy’s Lemon Broccoli Pasta


Diabetic Mama of Twins fueled by my family, working out, eating, dog walking, getting lost in the woods and insulin. Writing to share the journey this Type 1 diagnosis has taken me on since 2007.

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