Uncooked Tomato Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    3 cups

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

This is a standard for me. Easy to put together, it can be made a day ahead and used on everything from pasta and rice to anything grilled, broiled, or sautéed. If you’re stuck with feeble winter tomatoes, try oven-drying them a bit first to concentrate their flavor.


  • pounds ripe Roma tomatoes (or whatever type is best in the market)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped toasted or poached garlic
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped mixed fresh leafy herbs, such as parsley, basil, or mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mixed fresh woody herbs, such as rosemary, oregano, marjoram, or thyme
  • 4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and chopped, or 3 tablespoons rinsed and chopped oil-cured black olives
  • 1 tablespoon or so rinsed and chopped capers
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup or so fragrant extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Cut the Cores from the tomatoes, cut them in half crosswise, and gently squeeze out the seeds (don’t worry about getting them all out). Coarsely chop the tomatoes and combine with the garlic, herbs, anchovies or olives, capers, zest, and olive oil. Set the mixture aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour before using to allow flavors to develop and marry. Before serving, taste the sauce and season it with salt and pepper, if you think it needs it. Store covered in the refrigerator for 1 day. Allow to return to room temperature before using.