South America sells an abundance of ketchup marketed as pasta sauce, and I feel deeply deceived. No matter how much oregano, black pepper, basil, onion powder, garlic powder, or magic potion I put in the fraudulent ketchup pasta sauce, my pasta still tasted like noodles and ketchup no matter how much of my foot I tried to put in it.

So, when life gives you ketchup (or subpar tomato paste) and calls it tomato sauce, make your own!

Tomato Sauce gif

My obsession with pasta (and carbs in general) did not allow me to suffer in silence. This recipe is completely vegetarian and can be made vegan with one simple adjustment. You can store this sauce in the fridge for up to one week or in the freezer for longer. Here is your guide for this delectable sauce, which was adapted from

This bomb tomato sauce over stuffed cabbage.
This bomb tomato sauce over stuffed cabbage.

This recipe will get you about six servings and takes three hours to cook. If your vegetables and herbs are fresh (not dried or pre-cut), it will be another hour for prep.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 5 lbs fresh tomatoes (about 8-10 tomatoes)
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 1 ½ large yellow onions, diced
  • 12 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 2 tbsp. dried oregano
  • ⅓ cup of fresh parsley leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt
  • ½ carrot, grated
  • ½ carrot, whole
  • 1 tbsp. honey – for our vegan friends, swap this for maple syrup or coconut nectar


Get started!

1.  Peel those tomatoes. Yes, all of them. The easiest way is to drop one tomato at a time in boiling water for 10 seconds and then immediately transfer it to a bowl of ice water.  You’ll be able to peel the skin right off.  Once your tomatoes are peeled, cut them into four to six wedges per tomato. Set them aside.

Tomato  IMG_5779


2.  Grab a large pot and set it on the stove over medium heat. Throw in your olive oil, grated carrots, onions and garlic.



3.  Once the onions are translucent and that garlic is smelling great (about 8 minutes in the pot), add in the tomatoes, basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, and salt.  Stir it all up to make sure everything is well distributed.

IMG_5791 IMG_5794


4.  Lower the heat and let your vegetable medley simmer until it starts to darken — this will take about 2.5 hours. Make sure to continue stirring every so often so you don’t burn the vegetables. After about an hour, start taste-testing to make sure you have the balance of flavors you would like.

5.  When your sauce has started to darken to a deep red, stir in the honey or maple syrup. Then add the whole piece of carrot and let the sauce simmer for another 30 minutes.



6.  If you’d like a thinner sauce, use an immersion or regular blender until you get your desired consistency. If you like thick and chunky, your sauce is ready to enjoy!  This sauce is great over traditional pasta dishes or stuffed cabbage.



Did you try this recipe? Let us know your results in the comments below!

  un vibro