Homemade Tomato Sauce from fresh tomatoes

The Mediterranean cuisine is full of recipes made with tomato sauce. Here my mother-in-law Veneta shares her secrets (derived from tradition-her own grandmother), on how to make at home, tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes, and keep it in jars for the whole winter. I have to warn you: This is not a 30 minute recipe. I helped her throw-out the process, and it took us almost 7 hours to make 40 jars out of 40 kilos fresh tomatoes. But it was a “win-win” situation. Not only do I have now in my pantry homemade tomato sauce with no preservatives, but also my kids had the chance to watch mommy and grandma working together in the kitchen, talking and laughing. They even asked, how they could help, and I was so glad, that at that right moment we were creating memories that they will always look back on.


Ready in: 7 hours

Portion: 40 jars (350gr net each)

How to make tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes the traditional way


40 kilos plum tomatoes (ripe and fruity)

4 tbsps. sugar

4 tbsps. salt

40 glass jars ( for 350gr tomato sauce each)


How to do it

  1. Wash the tomatoes in your kitchen sink.

  2. Cut them into 4-5 pieces (so that your food processor can blend them).

  3. Blend them using a food processor or a blender.

  4. Separate tomato pulp from seeds & skin using a Tomato Strainer-Mill.

  5. Place the seeds and skin in your Bio compost bin.

  6. Put the tomato juice into two big pillowcases placed in your kitchen sink.

  7. Let it drain for 1-1.5 hours, so that our sauce becomes not so watery at the end.

  8. In the mean time sterilize the jars and their lids. Use your dishwasher (high temperature program 70oC) or put some water in a large pot, place the jars and/or their lids in and let them boil for 5 minutes. Remember, that they have to be dry before you use them.

  9. Time to boil the tomato juice. Medium to high temperature for 20 minutes. For this quantity you are going to need 2 big pots.

  10. Add 2 tbsps. of sugar and 2 tbsps. of salt in each pot.

  11. While boiling use your skimmer strainer to skim the excess foam on the top of the pot.

  12. Ready. Place the tomato sauce HOT into the jars and seal them immediately.



  • If you have an electric tomato strainer/mill you save a lot of time. It takes only one hour to separate the pulp from seeds and skin from 150 kilos tomatoes. I will save money to buy this next year. Its worth it.

  • Some people skip stages 4-7. Doing that can save you a lot of time, but the tomato sauce produced will not be so smooth. Remember in this case to increase the boiling time to 30 minutes.

  • How to make ketchup with no additives

Stages 1-6: remain the same.

Stage 7: let the tomato sauce drain for 1.5 hours instead of one hour. We need a more condense tomato puree. This is what i do: I let the tomato juice in the first pillowcase to drain for one hour and the one in the second pillow case for 1.5 hours. So half of the tomato puree is turned into a tomato sauce and the other half into ketchup.

Stage 8: remains the same.

Stay tuned to find out what happens next........

#tomatosauce #freshtomatoes