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Too many tomatoes = Paleo Chunky Tomato Basil Sauce

By September 4, 2012December 21st, 2014Food, Local Food, Main Courses, Paleo, Recipes


We’re fortunate to come to a point every summer, sometimes more than once, when we have too many tomatoes to consume in a reasonably short amount of time. It’s a little sad, because we love them fresh, but you can only eat so many, and we refuse to let them go to waste. ┬áSo we decided to use one of our cheat days and make pasta sauce with quinoa pasta.


2 tablespoons coconut oil or unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
7 cups fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or 2 28-ounce cans whole plum tomatoes)
2 tablespoons red wine
Pinch of coconut sugar
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
Pinch of dried oregano or thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, freshly chopped (optional)


  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the coconut oil/butter in the olive oil. Add the onion, stirring frequently until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, continuing to stir for 2 minutes.
  2. Transfer onions and garlic to the crock pot. Add the tomatoes, wine, coconut sugar, half the basil, and the thyme. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer on HIGH for 3 hours, stirring occasionally if desired.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the remaining basil and the parsley. Cover and cook on LOW for an additional 20-30 minutes longer. Serve the sauce hot.

Makes about 5 cups, serving 4 to 6.

This was really good the night of, but even better the second and third day, when the flavors had time to meld. We stirred in a pound of hamburger (classy right?) but it’s obviously optional. It’s been forever since we had pasta, and it was our first time having quinoa pasta, so this was a fun treat. It definitely cooks well, better than brown rice pasta which we had earlier this spring.

Do you have a favorite way to use tomatoes?


  • Blake says:

    You can never have too many tomatoes! j/k.

    Its not the same as fresh, I will say that, but have you done much with freezing them whole, like just throw them in a ziplock in the freezer. Yeah, you lose some of that freshness, but not as much as you do when you can time.

    • Jessica says:

      I’ll probably consider doing more freezing when we get a better freezer, which is only 3 days away! Right now our freezer just has this, musty old smell, and it taints food if you don’t like, double bag it. Hopefully that will be resolved, I do like to freeze.

  • Leah says:

    My husband loves to stew down the tomatoes and freeze that up to use later in the season. In terms of fresh, we just made an interesting concoction last night that we mostly cribbed from the Betty Crocker cookbook. It’s “spicy peanut chicken,” tho it wasn’t too spicy. I browned some thicken thighs and threw them in a crockpot with a can of diced green chiles (tho jalapenos would be good here if you like heat — I’m not a fan), a pound of diced tomatoes, some cumin, honey, and cinnamon (and S&P). After it was done cooking, I stirred in some peanut butter to melt into everything. It was pretty good and reminiscent of some Senegalese food I’ve had (tho Betty doesn’t mention that). You’re supposed to eat it with couscous, according to her. We meant to do quinoa, but we both got home late and were too hungry to wait for anything else.

    I also love just doing a chunky pasta sauce like you’ve got here. I prefer my tomatoes cooked, most of the time. But it still is nice to have those good, homegrown tomatoes. We got a lot this year, and we’re hoping to do even better next year.