My Nonna’s Organic Heirloom Tomato Sauce by Janet McKee

For a truly authentic Italian taste, be sure to try this late in the summer when you are inundated with fresh tomatoes.  This is exactly how my Nonna from Italy used to make a quick bowl of pasta. Don’t hesitate to try some of the gluten-free quinoa or brown rice pastas as an alternative to wheat.

My father and grandparents came from a small farm town in Italy named Cairano to live in Pittsburgh after my grandfather was a prisoner of war here in California.  Since my grandmother didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Italian, we used to cook together when I was growing up since that was the best way we could communicate. I loved the fresh flavors of doing sauce this way as opposed to a heavily cooked taste.  I converted this recipe into a canned sauce for winter enjoyment that still carries the unique fresh flavors.


2 ½ cups of chopped fresh tomatoes in season or jarred crushed tomatoes

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

4 T extra virgin olive oil

2 T fresh basil finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pound of dried pasta


Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  As the pasta is cooking, sauté the garlic in oil on low heat being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the chopped tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for just a few minutes to heat through, and add the chopped basil at the last minute before removing from heat.

Once the pasta is slightly underdone, or al dente, drain the pasta and add it to the tomato sauce and stir to combine.


Servings: 6