way-too-easy heirloom tomato sauce by jeanne by way of john besh

If you’re anything like me … every once in a while, you happen upon a recipe in a cookbook that becomes part of your repertoire.  You change the amounts of each ingredient.  You make minor shifts to the focus of the dish to match your own tastes.  But the basics stay the same.  And everyone who tries it asks for the recipe.  And you want to take credit for it … for real … but then … your conscience gets the best of you and you tell everyone that your inspiration is from John Besh’s My Family Table cookbook (which you’ve given to many of your friends and family because of your love for it).  And you appreciate it all over again.

So here’s my take on his 5-minute Cherry Tomato Sauce (page 26):


  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 5-6 Cloves of Garlic (chopped)
  • 1 ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper (we use ½ tsp when we’re making pizza sauce … or if it’s for the kiddos)
  • 4 cups Heirloom Tomatoes (chopped into about 1-2 inch chunks or halved if you’re using cherry tomatoes … the point is … use whatever tasty tomato you have on hand)
  • Leaves from 4-5 big sprigs of Basil
  • Sea Salt to taste


  • Large (10-12”) saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Vita-Mix (or blender or food processor)


Heat the Olive Oil in saucepan.

Sautee the Garlic and Crushed Red Pepper until the garlic becomes translucent.

Add Tomatoes (seeds, skin and all) and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until the membranes in the tomatoes get soft (about 8-10 minutes).

Add the Basil and let the leaves wilt.

CAREFULLY (because it’s REALLY HOT) pour (or ladle) the contents of your saucepan into the Vita-Mix (or blender or food processor) and puree until it’s all combined.

Lastly, add Sea Salt … I start with ½ a teaspoon and add more until it’s tasty goodness.

And one more thing … We use this sauce for pasta.  We use it on polenta with a poached egg.  We use it on pizza.  We use it on breakfast tacos.  We just use it.  And I bet you will, too 🙂


We’re linked up on The Nourishing Gourmet.

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