Seasonal Chef Recipe: Rustic Tomato Sauce


September is bursting with vine ripened tomatoes. With it still being warm, the idea of cooking marinara sauce for hours is just not appealing. This chunky rustic tomato sauce is a perfect way to use up those tomatoes. Double the recipe and freeze some for later.

To see my post about how to choose, store and cook with tomatoes, click here. To see the story on, click here.

Seasonal Chef Recipe: Rustic Tomato Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 4

Seasonal Chef Recipe: Rustic Tomato Sauce

This quick sauce is perfect with pasta or even with a nice piece of crusty bread.


  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup red onion, ¼” dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Red pepper flakes, optional
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 4 cups plum tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped, about 2 lbs.
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh parsley


  1. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauté pan and over high heat sauté the onion and garlic with ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes, if using. Cook until the onion is golden and caramelized, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and another ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Lower the heat, cover and cook until the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally so they don’t stick.
  3. Remove from heat and cool slightly, checking for seasoning.
  4. Stir in ¼ cup of chopped fresh parsley and basil.


Cooks note: This sauce will be a little loose, and perfect to use with spaghetti. Cook ½ lb. of your favorite pasta according to the package instructions, but remove from the water 4 minutes before al dente, and finish cooking in the sauce. The pasta will absorb some of the liquid and flavor it. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.


About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

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