Accidental Locavore: Winter Tomato Sauce Recipe from Haven’s Kitchen

Accidental Locavore Tomato SauceThis is an amazing and simple tomato sauce the Accidental Locavore had at the gnocchi class at Haven’s Kitchen. It’s very simple but takes time for the tomatoes to cook down and develop their incredible flavor. Makes a lot, so be prepared to have a big pasta party, can or freeze.

  • Three 28 oz. cans whole tomatoes with their liquid, crushed with hand or chopped roughly (use good tomatoes here, like San Marzano)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (or less to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 ¼ cups of olive oil (you want a good but not great olive oil)
  • 2 heads of garlic, cloves separated and smashed (no need to peel)
  • 1-2 bunches of basil, roughly chopped (stems and all)
  • Pinch of red chili flakes (to taste)

In a medium-large pot over medium heat, add the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and lower heat to medium low. Season with sugar and salt, to taste. Tomatoes should simmer low and slow for 1 ½ -2 hours.

Accidental Locavore Basil and TomatoesWhile the tomatoes are cooking, prepare the flavored oil. In a small pot add the olive oil, basil and garlic, and bring to a simmer over low heat.  Simmer for 30 minutes, still on low heat or the garlic will overcook and burn. Remove from heat and add the red pepper flakes. Let sit until the tomatoes are cooked, at least 30 minutes.

When the tomatoes are ready, strain the oil directly into the tomatoes. You just want to add enough of the oil to flavor the tomatoes ( I used it all). If you have any leftover oil you can use it  for the table, for dipping bread into.


  • After straining the garlic and basil oil, remove the garlic, peel and use as garlic confit. I pureed mine and use it for salads and vegetables, delicious!
  • In the summer time, you can make this same recipe with 2 parts fresh tomatoes (peeled and seeded) to 1 part canned tomatoes.



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