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 are less flavorful outside the summer months, but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the delicious flavors and textures of a home-cooked winter tomato sauce. I want to show you how to create a perfect blend of fresh and canned tomatoes that will give you a burst of summertime flavor all year long.

In essence, the idea behind this sauce lies in the balance between the canned tomatoes, preserved at the peak of summer, and the raw but fresh tomato water. Indeed, outside season tomatoes are less sweet but will provide a lively, tangy fresh tomato note. Raw tomato water, you say? By simply extracting the seeds from the fresh tomatoes and straining them to extract the water, which is full of glutamic acid and deep tomato taste. This flavorful liquid is then put back in at the end of the cooking process, achieving a sauce that has the best of both worlds: the rich sweet, slow-cooked sauce of canned but ripe summer tomato with a touch 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


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