I’ll put it to you straight: this is NOT a fast recipe. However, it is beyond worth the time to make and save for quick meals in the future. It is delicious, versatile and best of all, you know what’s in it. (Many commercial tomato sauces have as much as 16 teaspoons of sugar and 4 teaspoons of salt, not to mention dyes and trans fats.)

Ingredients for Sicilian Tomato Sauce

  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 4 cloves if garlic
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 20 C peeled, cored and chopped ripe fresh tomatoes
  • 1/4 C chopped parsley
  • 1/2 C dry white wine
  • 1 C chicken or vegetable stock 
  • 1 t marjoram
  • 1 t dried rosemary
  • 6 T butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
   We live in the midwest and can grow lots of our own tomatoes, but if you don’t have access to enough fresh tomatoes, you can use 14 cups of fresh tomatoes and 3 28-ounce cans whole crushed tomatoes with the juice.

Also, ask at your local farmer’s market.  Sometimes they will give you a deal on “uglies” that don’t look great for selling, but are perfect for sauce-making where it doesn’t matter.



Heat an 8- to 10-quart heavy-bottom pot and add the oil, onion and garlic. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.


Add the remaining ingredients, except the butter, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and gently cook, uncovered, for 4 – 5 hours, stirring from time to time.


Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the butter to finish. Makes about 20 – 24 cups.

Can or freeze this Sicilian Tomato Sauce in one- and two-cup amounts for future use. Some of our favorite uses include:

I was reluctant, too, at first, but here’s how to go about canning your fresh Sicilian Tomato Sauce. We try to put away about 20 pints (2 cuppers) and 15 half pints (1 cuppers) in the fall and it usually lasts us until July of the following year. I also find homemade canned sauces and relishes make great gifts!

Peeling Tomatoes

While peeling tomatoes is not very fun, it is easy and anyone can do it. Get the whole family involved and make light work of it! Our daughter has become an expert tomato peeler! It may not be her favorite thing, but she enjoys the many meals we make throughout the year with the sauces we peel tomatoes for in July, August and September.

Score each tomato crisscross and immerse it in boiling water for just a second. Let the tomato cool briefly then pull the skin away from the corners where you scored it. (They will often be pulling away from the tomato already.) Gradually pull all of the skin from the tomato. I think you will find this chore worth the trouble. It is especially important when you are using tomatoes from the farmer’s market or homegrown, as they can get very tough when cooked.