Tuscan Style Tomato Sauce (for pasta)

Make a big batch and freeze in portions for veggie-packed meals in a hurry.
  • Prep time 30 mins
  • Cook time 30 mins
  • Yields 4-6

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  • Recipe Attribution Barbara Finley, Project CHEF


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped carrot (1 medium carrot)
  • ¼ cup chopped celery (about ½ stalk)
  • 1 small garlic clove, rasped or pressed through a garlic press
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 28-ounce can tomatoes
  • ½ cup vegetable stock, chicken stock or water
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 or 3 basil leaves, torn (or a tsp. of dried basil)


  • Medium-sized pot or Dutch oven
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Microplane or garlic press
  • Can opener
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Wooden spoon


  1. Cut the onion in half and peel off the papery skin. Holding on to the root end, slice into pinkie wide strips. Slice each strip into thin strips, giving you small cubes of onion. Put aside for now.
  2. Peel the carrot then cut in half lengthwise. With the flat side of the carrot on the cutting board, cut the carrot into half, lengthwise. Cut the strips into small cubes of carrot. Put aside for now.
  3. Cut the celery into half, lengthwise then cut into small cubes. Put aside for now.
  4. Peel the garlic then rasp with a microplane or press through a garlic press.
  5. Place the pot on the stovetop and turn on to a medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and let heat up for a minute.
  6. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until the vegetables are tender, about 10 – 12 minutes.
  7. Add the can of tomatoes, stock (or water), pinch of pepper flakes and a pinch of salt. Stir, breaking up the tomatoes with the spoon. Turn up the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  8. Once at a simmer, turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. Remove the lid after about 15 minutes.
  9. Tear the basil into the pot and stir. Serve over pasta.


  • If you prefer, this sauce can also be pureed using a hand-held blender, blender or a food processor. Wait until cool before processing.
  • You don’t need to have fancy equipment. You can mash the tomato sauce with a potato masher.
  • You can make it ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. The sauce freezes well, to have on hand for a quick meal.

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