Pim, who invented this recipe, says this takes 15 minutes from start to finish, pasta included. I don’t know what sort of super-fast kitchen magic she uses but I’ve never managed to make it in that time. Still, the 25 minutes it takes for me to make this sauce is good enough for me.

What makes this sauce unusually delicious is the way you quickly boil down just the tomato juice to help give a thick texture and deep flavour to the finished dish. The recipe is a bit  fiddly, with the blanching, peeling, and de-seeding, but I’ve found that it’s stress-relieving to disembowel and crush tomatoes with your bare hands. Try to make this with good, ripe tomatoes that are in season (June to October) as the flavour will be noticeably better.

The finished sauce is really fresh-tasting and rich, making the most of tomatoes’ sunny flavour. It also keeps well for a few days in the fridge, so it’s a good idea to make more (being mindful of how many tomatoes you can put up with preparing!) so you can just reheat as needed for a quick, delicious summer meal.

Recipe: Quick and Fresh Tomato Sauce

Serving Size: 2/3


  • . About 900g – 1kg fresh, ripe tomatoes, washed
  • . 2 – 3 tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil (more if liked)
  • . 1 – 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • . Salt and pepper to taste
  • . 1 teaspoon good-quality balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • . Fresh basil or parsley to serve, if liked


  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil, one that is big enough to hold all the tomatoes.
  2. While the water coming to the boil, lightly cut an ‘X’ across the bottom of each tomato with a small, sharp, pointed knife. When the water is boiling, put the tomatoes into the water and simmer until their papery skins begin to loosen and split.
  3. Drain the tomatoes and rinse in cold water until they’re cool enough to handle. Peel and discard the tomato skins.
  4. Working over a sieve over a medium bowl, dig your fingers into the bottom of each tomato, ripping open the flesh to release all the seeds and juice. You will reserve this juice for later, but discard the seeds.
  5. Place the tomato flesh into another medium bowl. Crush the tomatoes with your bare hands, breaking it down into small chunks.
  6. In a medium-sized skillet over a moderate flame, heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive and fry the chopped garlic until fragrant and beginning to turn golden brown.
  7. Add the tomato chunks and reserved tomato juice to the skillet, stirring well for a minute or two until the tomato chunks begin to soften and release more juice. Season well with salt.
  8. With a slotted spoon, scoop out just the tomato flesh and put into a medium bowl, leaving the juice in the skillet. You may also have to pour some remaining juice from the tomato bowl back into the skillet.
  9. Let the tomato juice boil until it is thick and concentrated, you should be able to scrape the bottom of the skillet and the juice should be thick enough to leave a gap.
  10. Lower the heat and add the reserved tomato flesh back into the skillet. Mix well to blend it into a good, rich sauce. Taste, seasoning with further salt and pepper, or perhaps a bit of balsamic vinegar for extra depth. Add another tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil if you want a more voluptuous texture.
  11. Once the sauce tastes good to you, it’s done. Serve over pasta, use as a pizza base or spread it on toast.

About The Author

History of Art graduate from SOAS (jointly with UCL). I cook, eat, and observe the world. Then I write about it and share it with you. This is a unilateral decision.

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