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Homemade Tomato Sauce

homemade tomato sauce

Tonight I had this conversation with my little boy while I was tucking him into bed:

“How do you know I love you?” I asked him
“You tell me 2 billion times a day,” he replied.
“If I didn’t tell you, how would you know?  I asked.
“I can feel it in your hugs,” he said.

That really got me.  I try not to take things for granted in life.  Like my children.  Or hot showers.  Or glass bottles that I get to keep after I’m finished with the food inside.  It’s the little things in life that make all the difference really.

Here’s a little recipe that’s making a difference in my kitchen.  It’s my new go to sauce for chili, bean dishes and pasta.  The boys scarf it down and I love its versatility and flavor.  The husband doesn’t mind it either, in fact, he seems to likes it.

Homemade Tomato Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil
  2. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes
  3. Add cherry tomatoes, water, garlic, oregano, chili and salt
  4. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes over medium heat until tomatoes are soft and beginning to fall apart
  5. Serve

Stay tuned.  In the next few weeks I will post warm and comforting entree dishes over which you can serve this easy sauce.

posted on February 10, 2009, 18 comments

  1. What a precious little boy! His comment made me say “awww.” I can only imagine how much it melted the heart of you, his mother!

    The sauce looks amazing, a different refreshing take on the typical tomato-pinch sugar-basil-oregano sauce. I can’t wait to try this one out. The cherry tomatoes no doubt add a different “complex” of tomato to the sauce. Putting it in a food processor would probably make it less chunky if wanted, as well…

  2. CoconutGal

    Oh!! Cute story :-D
    Being sick and not being able to do daily tasks makes me really appreciate the little things. Especially with food, once all the restrictions came, it made me really appreciate the fact that we even get to chose what we eat. Not everyone has the many choices we are so lucky to have. Being on a feeding tube formula changes your outlook on our luxuries for sure!
    This sauce looks great Elana. So simple too.
    Gotta love simple and tasty! Thanks for your cute story!

  3. Ali (Whole Life Nutrition) @ glutenfreewholefoods.blogspot.com

    Elana –

    I discovered your blog a few months ago and love it. I have not made a comment yet, but occasionally stop in to see what you are up to in the kitchen. I am in awe over all of your grain-free baked goods.

    I love making tomato sauce with my girls in the summer. Each batch is unique because they add in whatever fresh herbs they have picked and of course like to cut up the tomatoes themselves (they are 3 1/2 and 6 1/2 yrs).

    I like your version here with chili powder, sounds warming for wintertime!

    -Ali :)

  4. I try not to take things for granted in life either – always best to put everything into perspective.

    Wonderful sauce!! Can’t beat the homemade variety.

  5. christin

    Looks yummy, I’m sure that will be the base for alot of things in my kitchen. I just wanted to ask, what kind of pasta do you use? Thanks, I love getting every email I get from you :)

  6. Daphne Woodhouse

    I love your recipes, Elana – just my style. Mostly simple, yet sooooo tasty!

  7. gfe--gluten free easily @ glutenfreeeasily.com

    Lovely recipe–yours are always my favorite kind … very few, real ingredients so you get to actually taste and savor the food! :-)

    Those moments with our children are the very best. It’s wonderful you record them here so you’ll have them always.


  8. Your kids are too cute, and this sauce looks so bright and fresh. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Meagan -It was a nice moment :-) Yes, this sauce is a little different then your average fare. Thanks!

    CoconutGal -Yes, even doing daily tasks such as unloading the dishwasher can be a luxury when we are going through periods of compromised health. I’ve been there myself. Thanks for your comment.

    Ali -Thanks, and I’m glad you are enjoying the recipes here. I loved reading your little story about making sauce with your girls! I think children appreciate what they eat so much more when they are part of the process.

    VeggieGirl -Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

    christin -Thank you! I hope this sauce can act as a base for many of your recipes. I used to eat Papadini pasta made with lentil beans, But since they’ve discontinued that product I haven’t been eating much pasta lately.

    Daphne -Thank you for your lovely comment!

    Shirley -Yes, those moments with our children really are the best. Take care :-)

    Hayley -Thank you!

  10. Jodi

    Do you have a recipe for onion-free tomato sauce?

  11. Jodi -I don’t; this would be a great question for the forums.

  12. Lisa Gigliotti

    I came acroo your sauce haven’t tryed it yet but can’t wait to. I was wondering could I can it?
    You know like when you can stuff. I have cherry
    tomato I’m puting in my gardan this year so that’s why I was wondering if I can can the sauce?
    Please let me know.

  13. Nora

    Wonderful sauce, you can try it on quinoa pasta is the best; and if you like tuna, is perfect with a corn tortilla.

  14. Hi Elana! I’m a newly married woman and spend most days cooking for my wonderful husband, which is a joy by the way:) I visit your website almost everyday. Thanks so much for the homade tomato sauce recipe, I just added a little bit to it: I teaspoon of rosemary and a carrot to take away some of the acidity. It balanced it out very nicely. I removed the carrot at the end of simmering. Blessings…

  15. Heather

    This looks great, do you know if you can make it in bulk and freeze??

  16. Love this post and the quote from your son. Children have a way of explaining things so simply and beautifully. Will definitely give your recipe a go. Your blog is brilliant! Fifi

  17. Bernie

    Hi, thank you for this awesome blog, I just discovered it this week. I been diagnosed diabetic a few months back and it has been hell and high water finding good food that i can eat without the guilt and stress of high glucose. Although you dont have any special diet here for diabetes, I have found most of your recipes are good for me. Just made the simple bread was short of the almond flour by half a cup so I just used dessicated coconut as we dont get coconut flour:) it is delicious. thanks again

  18. Koko

    Is anybody else having trouble pinning this?

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