Classic Heirloom Tomato Sauce

This is my go-to sauce. It is simple, allowing the gorgeous taste of the heirloom tomatoes to shine. It's got no added sugar, and just a dash of balsamic for an added depth of flavour. It still preserves well because of the natural acidity of the tomatoes. I think the original recipe said it can last for 3 months in the refrigerator, but that was without using a canner/processor, which I did this time, so I'm sure it will last longer.

Reduced to a rich and semi-thick sauce, this makes an excellent base for pasta sauces, such as bolognaise, or for adding to soups and stews. We even use it as a pizza base sauce.





  • 5kg heirloom tomatoes, skinned and deseeded
  • 12 - 18 cloves of garlic
  • two bunches of fresh herbs (e.g. basil or oregano)
  • 3 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup Olive oil
  1. Drop the heirloom tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes, and then into an ice bath to split the skins so that they can peel of easily (once cooled)
  2. De-seed the tomatoes as well as you can, reserving any juices
  3. Chop the tomatoes in your food processor.* This time I had a food mill to do steps 2 and 3 for me, and although churning the mill was still hard work, it was far less of a mission than the manual process I did last year!
  4. Add the juice and chopped tomatoes (I ended up with just over 3l of tomato) to a heavy pot or jam pan (I'm so super lucky to have a brand new maslin pan to my collection for this year's preserving missions!) and add the crushed garlic cloves.
  5. Add the olive oil and bring it all to a boil, boiling for 5 minutes
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for around 2 hours, or until the sauce is thickening up, and the olive oil and tomato sauce separates. At this point my sauce reduced to around 1.8l
  7. Add the herbs, balsamic vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper
  8. Bring back to the boil for around 5 minutes.
  9. Pour into sterilized jars and continue with canning, or refrigerate after cooling.



Heirloom tomatoes
Tomato Juices after processing through food mill
Bottled Sauce


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