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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC


Rustic Tomato Sauce ~ Pomarola Rustica


Prep time 10 minutes          

Passive Cooking Time 1 hour

Makes 3-4 cups sauce


If folks only realized how EASY it is to make homemade sauce, especially this rustic pomarola which dispenses with tomato skinning and deseeding, they would never settle for the jarred or canned stuff. Totally forgiving, you can use whatever ripe summer tomatoes you have on hand, especially those that have softened a little too much for salads and sandwiches.  It takes minutes to put up on the stove; you can go off and do other things as it gently simmers. 


Delicious on pasta, potatoes and whole grains, you can also throw in a pound of green beans to cook with the sauce for fagiolini in umido.  Or spoon some on bruschetta or spread on pizza for a new twist on old classics.  Whole and plant-based with no oil, sugar or salt.




5-6 cups crudely cut fresh ripe tomatoes (mix any varieties) •

1 large onion, medium dice

2-3 large cloves garlic, minced

Splash of dry white wine, dry vermouth, no-sodium veggie broth or water to deglaze pan

Fistful of fresh basil

Fresh grinds of black pepper

2 Tablespoons aka (red) miso or 2 teaspoons miso powder, or to taste (omit if sodium-free) ••


Hint!  Ripe vine-ripened tomatoes have the best flavor but when they’re not available, just use a 28-ounce can of quality whole canned tomato, preferably organic and without preservatives.


•• Miso is a good salt alternative that helps to lower blood pressure (,%2C%20including%20salt%2Dsensitive%20hypertension).




Heat a large skillet for 4 minutes over medium heat.

Add onions and dry sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When they begin to soften and carmelize, darkening the pan, splash one just a few tablespoons of your liquid of choice and with a wooden spoon, scrape up the carmelized sugars that have attached to the pan. These are full of flavor.


Add the garlic, sauté for 1 minute, then add all the tomatoes, stirring to combine well with the aromatics. Lower heat to a simmer, cover slightly askew to allow some slow evaporation. Cook gently for about an hour, allowing the sauce to thicken and its flavors to meld.  Every so often check to make certain it is not sticking to your pan, and if it has become dry too soon, add a little liquid. The final sauce should be liquid enough to flow and spread.


When it is soft as butter and fully cooked, season with pepper, turn off the flame, throw in the basil to steep in the sauce, and cover.  In 2-3 minutes, remove the cover, season with miso, if using, to taste, and the sauce is ready!


Buon appetito!

Rustic Tomato Sauce ~ Pomarola Rustica