Tomato Sauce

It’s tomato season in Korea, and the summer staple is finally available at an affordable price. Even canned tomatoes are excessively expensive in Korea at $2-3 CAD for a small can, so fresh is the only way to go for tomato sauce.

Tomato sauce was one of the first recipes I learned as a kid. It was Christmas time, and we were preparing our lasagnas for Christmas Eve. With such a large family, lasagna was one of the easiest dishes to make, and easily accomodates vegetarians. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make something so delicious, and this recipe became one of my go-to meals. Since then, I’ve learned recipes for tasty dishes from all over the globe, but this remains one of my top favourites.

This recipe can be used for loads of different dishes. In addition to classic spaghetti sauce (with additions like ground beef or chicken), this recipe is great for lasagna, chicken parmesan, pizza, and can even be enjoyed as a tomato soup when pureed.


This tomato sauce is super versatile. Any of the proportions can be modified to suit your tastes. I often throw in some roasted red peppers or grilled zucchini for a richer flavour. The tomatoes can be roasted beforehand for a deeper tomato flavour.

  • 15 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp basil*
  • 1 tbsp thyme*
  • 1 tbsp rosemary*
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

* Fresh herbs are preferable, but dried will add a lot of flavour as well.


1. Prepare tomatoes. Remove stems and cut an “x” into the bottom. Place in boiling water for 10-20 seconds. Remove and place in ice-bath for 20 seconds. When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel skin. Remove seeds and jelly if desired (this will provide a thicker, stronger sauce later). Dice and set aside.


2. Dice onions and garlic and place in heated pan with oil. When onions become transluscent, add tomatoes, sugar, and any additional vegetables like peppers or zucchini. Simmer on medium-low heat for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. To get a thicker sauce, simmer with lid-off until desired thickness is achieved.


3. After 2 hours, add herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.


4. Let cool for 30 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend sauce to desired texture.


What’s the first recipe you learned to make?

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