Winter Tomato Sauce: The Perfect Blend of Fresh and Canned Marzano Tomatoes


Fresh tasting tomato sauce all year long

Jump to recipeWinter Tomato Sauce: The Perfect Blend of Fresh and Canned Marzano Tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes don't taste as good outside of summer, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the yummy tastes and textures of a homemade winter tomato sauce. I want to teach you how to mix fresh and canned tomatoes to give you a taste of summer all year long.

Basically, this sauce is all about balancing canned tomatoes, stored at their best in summer, with fresh but raw tomato water. Yes, out-of-season tomatoes are less sweet but they give a bright, tangy fresh tomato flavor. What's tomato water? It's just the water you get when you remove the seeds from fresh tomatoes and strain them. This water, full of glutamic acid and deep tomato taste, is added back in at the end of cooking. This way, the sauce gets the best of both: the rich sweet, slow-cooked taste of canned summer tomatoes, with a hint of fresh, bright tomato flavor.

As always make it your own! Fancy a bit of chili peppers in your sauce? Or more garlic? Freely customise it to your liking, this is your sauce!

Winter Tomato Sauce: The Perfect Blend of Fresh and Canned Marzano Tomatoes

Fresh tasting tomato sauce all year long

Prep time
cook time
total time
in the fridge up to 1 week


  1. Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and, using a spoon or your fingers, gently remove the seeds and water. Extract the seed water in a bowl by pressing them through a thin strainer or squeezing them in a cloth. Be sure to reserve the seed water in a separate bowl, as this will be added back into the sauce later for that burst of fresh tomato flavor.
Removing the seeds

Extracting tomato water from the seeds

2. Blend the rest of the fresh tomato and the canned tomato together.

3. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, or until fragrant.

4. Add the blended tomato and basil leaves to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will allow the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken through evaporation.

5. After the sauce has simmered for 45 minutes, remove the garlic and basil leaves. Stir in the reserved seed water from the fresh tomatoes. This will add a touch of freshness to the sauce, enhancing the overall flavor.

6. Taste and adjust the seasoning with sugar, salt, and pepper, as needed.

7. Cook your favorite pasta; I like spaghetti with this smooth sauce.

8. 2 mins before your desired pasta doneness, add the strained pasta to the hot tomato sauce and stir to combine and blend the two together.

9. Serve this delicious winter tomato sauce with fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy the comforting taste of a slow-cooked sauce with the added brightness of fresh tomatoes, perfect for those chilly winter nights.


• Fresh grape tomatoes

• Same quantity of high-quality canned tomatoes (such as San Marzano)

• Olive Oil

• Garlic glove

• Sugar to taste (optional, depending on the sweetness of the tomato)

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• Basil leaves

Get ready to cook with what's in your fridge! Book your FREE video call 30-minute cooking class and learn the basics of meal improvisation. Limited spots available – as I am testing my new teaching methods!


Subscribe to My weekly updates!

Stay in touch to learn new ways to create your own delicious dishes.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.