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pomodoro sauce

Penne al Pomodoro


When tomatoes are at their peak in summer this is a great sauce to make and freeze to enjoy long after the warm weather has passed. It’s incredibly simple but fresh and full of wonderful flavor. 20ish pounds of tomatoes will get you 20 (1/2 cup) servings of sauce, but you can easily halve this recipe if you don’t want to make as much.


  • 25 pounds fresh Roma tomatoes, washed clean
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Cooked penne pasta


  1. Using a paring knife, score the bottom of each tomato with an “x”. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and submerge the tomatoes for 30-45 seconds. Depending on the size of your pot you may need to do this in batches. Transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl (I used a roasting pan). Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin of each tomato. Using a paring knife cut out the cores and discard.
  2. In a large stock pot (I ended up using two and split the tomatoes) heat the olive oil over medium heat. Squish the tomatoes with your hands to break them up a bit before adding to the pot. Be sure to add all of the liquid from the pan or bowl that the tomatoes were in. Bring the pot to a simmer and let the tomatoes cook for an hour and a half to two hours, or until they start to break down. Stir the tomatoes periodically and use a wooden spoon to break them apart.
  3. I prefer a smooth sauce so I used my immersion blender to puree the tomatoes once they were cooked. If you like a chunky sauce you can leave them as is.
  4. Add the sugar and salt to the tomatoes. Let the sauce simmer for another 10 minutes or so and taste it periodically to check the seasoning. Add more salt (a little at a time!) if needed.
  5. Stir in the chopped basil and serve with penne


This recipe makes about 20 servings. I like to freeze the sauce in servings of four using freezer bags. I pour the sauce into a quart-sized bag, seal it, and then store all of the quart-sized bags in one large freezer bag to prevent any spills.[br]You can certainly doctor this sauce by adding garlic, onion, carrots, or whatever you want. I wanted to keep it very simple and it’s delicious as is.

Nutrition estimates are for the sauce only.

  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Sauces
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup of sauce
  • Calories: 128
  • Sugar: 15.3g
  • Sodium: 28.4g
  • Fat: 3.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 22.5g
  • Fiber: 6.8g
  • Protein: 5g

Keywords: tomato sauce, pomodoro sauce