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Homemade Marinara Tomato Sauce


It taste amazing and BLOWS bottled jar tomato sauce out of the water.  It is incredibly healthy and only a few ingredients…you might call this old school cooking or a clean eating recipe but with only a few fresh ingredients, whatever you call it,  It’s delicious and You can feel really good about eating it..

homemade pasta sauce with herbs

Growing up I was so fortunate to have Maddie as a friend.  Their family was from France and her mother Genevieve (Mrs. Ginny to me) cooked some of the best food I had ever tasted. Mrs. Ginny liked to dip her peaches in a glass of red wine and I was fascinated by her accent when she talked… One weekend, I stayed at Maddie’s house for a sleepover, the next morning we helped Mrs Ginny pick baskets of fresh tomatoes & basil from her garden.  Afterwards, Maddie and I were playing in the room and the door bell rang, it was the neighbor stopping by to show Maddie some of her new birthday presents.  Since I was totally bored and was far to mature at age 12 for toys, I walked out of the my little pony pageant show and into the kitchen where  Mrs. Ginny  was lighting the gas stove.   I pulled up a chair at her counter …”Bonjour, darling” and my first French cooking lesson began. “How to make Homemade Tomato Sauce, from a French Woman”.   There is no real “recipe”.  You can use any tomatoes in whatever quantity you want.  Just remember this will reduce 4x in size.


STEP 1 – Put tomatoes in a DRY Pan

tomatoes in a saucepan

add a few garlic cloves

tomatoes in a saucepan with garlic

toss them in

homemade tomato sauce with garlic in the pan

start cooking on the stove med/hi heat, stirring often.  The tomatoes will start to release their juices.

tomatoes still cooking

The tomatoes are starting to cook down, you can see the tomato skins coming loose from the tomatoes.. keep cooking (10 min into cooking)

Stirring occasionally

tomatoes cooking for sauce

getting closer (15-20 min into cooking)


tomato sauce still cooking

30 minutes into cooking… almost done… but not quite..  See the liquid??? You don’t want that.. Keep cooking AND STIRRING a few more minutes.. At this point, Don’t leave it on the stove and walk away.  You will be sorry if you do..

homemade tomato sauce not ready yet

2 minutes later…..so close…

homemade sauce in the pan

1 more minute and no liquid.  Just a thick chunky tomato sauce..

homemade tomato sauce with basil

Take OFF the heat and add some fresh herbs.. I like basil & parsley.  I use thyme & oregano when I have it on hand.

homemade tomato sauce add herbs

add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt

tomato sauce lemon squeeze

and a light drizzle of some Extra virgin olive oil.  This gives the sauce a velvety smoothness and a beautiful glossy finish. Mrs. Ginny always said “Wait until the sauce is almost dry and begging for a drink and then give it a little olive oil.”

tomato sauce evoo

Give everything a stir.  Now, you could stop at this step like Mrs. Ginny and leave it chunky and rustic.  But, I like to puree it in a blender until it is completely smooth.  Otherwise you have (incredibly soft) garlic chunks and tomato skin peels.

I have a thing with food textures, especially skin, seeds and PULP!  In fact, I would only buy pulp free orange juice when the kids were really little.  So The first time the twins had OJ at my brothers (he likes extra pulp) they took a big ole gulp and said “Ewww gross..there is hair in this orange juice”.. I laughed so hard because I knew they meant the pulp..

Back to the chunky sauce….. Let’s make it smooth……

homemade pasta sauce with herbs

into the blender….

tomato sauce in blender

and serve it up with anything you would use Marinara sauce for.. Pizza, Pasta, Eggplant Fries…

tomato sauce with eggplant fries vertical

You can use any type of tomato for this recipe.. I remember when Mrs. Ginny made this we picked red, purple,yellow and orange heirloom tomatoes.

variety of organic heirloom tomatoes

I used red tomatoes from the market and fresh herbs from my garden

shot of tomatoes and basil

This sauce is also great on vegetable pasta aka gluten free, low carb,  healthy vegan Veggie Pasta..

YUM!! Eating clean and healthy has never tasted so good…

vegetable noodles with marinara sauce

Store any leftover sauce in a glass container with lid (I use a mason jar) in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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