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white bowl of ziti pasta with some fresh marinara sauce and a fork in front of a window

Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce

What to do with all those summer garden tomatoes? Make a fresh tomato marinara sauce from those fresh cherry or heirloom tomatoes! Dinner will be on the table in less than 30 minutes!
Course Dinner, First Course, Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 lbs fresh tomatoes heirloom, garden, cherry, Roma...pretty much any will do!
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ small onion finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 6-8 leaves fresh basil sliced thin
  • salt and pepper
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish; optional


To core the tomatoes

  • Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil.
  • Core the tomato removing the center core with a small knife or tomato corer (I got mine from Pampered Chef a while ago).
  • Gently squeeze the cored tomato to remove the seeds.
  • Make an "X" at the cored end of the tomato with a sharp knife and drop the tomato into the pot of boiling water for 30 seconds tops.Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. Once cool to the touch, peel the tomato from the top down.

For the sauce

  • Take your already peeled tomatoes [see above] and roughly dice them into a medium chop.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and once heated, saute the chopped onion. Once the onion is nice and golden (about 3-5 minutes), add the chopped garlic and saute until you can smell it [about 30 seconds or so].
  • Add the diced tomatoes along with the basil, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to simmer the sauce for thirty minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Mangia!


Make ahead. This easy marinara sauce can be made ahead and used within three days.
Storing. Store in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag until you're ready to use.
Freezing. Freeze in a ziploc bag or airtight container for up to three months.
Reheat Instructions:
To reheat from frozen. Allow to come to room temperature either in the fridge overnight or on the counter for an hour or so.
Thawed sauce. Once thawed or at room temp, reheat in a saucepan on the stove over simmering heat until hot. Or heat in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 second increments until warm.