DIY: Capture the taste of tomatoes at their peak with pasta sauce


By: Danielle Waldron

Andres Rodriguez/Flickr

One of the greatest parts of harvest season is how long you can make it last. 

All of your hard work in the garden through the hot summer days seems to come together all at once just before fall arrives, which can result in the very happy problem of having an overabundance of goodies. 

Tomatoes are one of those veggies that, if you give them enough TLC, grow like a weed through the season. But we get it, there are only so many sandwiches you can eat with tomatoes until you’ve had your fill. 

During harvest season, think ahead about how to make veggies at their peak freshness last for a few weeks. Salsas and sauces are easy if you’ve got canning jars and ample storage space.

This simple pasta sauce recipe from A Family Feast uses two quarts of freshly canned tomatoes from the garden and could make enough to last through the winter. 

Just be sure to be careful when canning to avoid a nasty bug later. 



  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • Pinch red pepper flakes 
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • ¾ cup onion, chopped 
  • 1 tsp. fresh chopped oregano, divided 
  • 1 tsp. fresh chopped basil 
  • 1 tsp. sugar 
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 quarts freshly canned garden tomatoes 
  • ¼ cup Parmesano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated 
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter 


  1. Pour the canned tomatoes into bowl and crush by hand without breaking it into small pieces. 
  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, pour in olive oil, herbs, sugar, salt and pepper and heat up slowly. When onions and garlic start to soften, stir for five minutes and remove pot from burner. 
  3. Put a heat diffuser on the burner and add the tomatoes to the pot. Turn to medium-high and stir until mixture begins to boil. Reduce to simmer, partially cover and let sit for 90 minutes. 
  4. After 90 minutes, remove from heat and stir, adding cheese. Add butter and stir well. 
  5. Seal in airtight containers and keep cool until ready to use. 

What DIY would you like to make next? Let us know in the comments below! 

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