RECIPE: Jolliette's tomato sauce

RECIPE: Jolliette's tomato sauce

This tomato sauce is so good it's sure to become your family's favorite sauce recipe! This is a recipe we've been perfecting for years. It brings back good memories for our children. For Jolliette, a tomato sauce is a sauce that simmers on the stove for a long time so that the flavors really deepen and develop. An important first step in making this sauce is to very slowly heat the olive oil with the garlic, herbs and spices and sauté for about five minutes. This slow heating process ensures that the oil is infused with the seasonings that make a truly delicious base for your sauce.

A question we often get is, are fresh tomatoes essential, or can you go canned? It's sometimes hard to get really tasty tomatoes, so don't be afraid to make sauces with canned plum tomatoes. We like to use fresh, fully ripened plum tomatoes when available. We use other varieties when they are just as ripe and really fruity. If none are available, we use a can of imported Italian plum tomatoes or cherry tomatoes.


3 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil

pinch of red pepper flakes

4 crushed garlic cloves

1 chopped onion

1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano or teaspoon dried

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or ½ tablespoon dried

1 teaspoon fresh chopped mint

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 kilo fresh plum tomatoes or canned plum tomatoes

1 small can of tomato paste

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese

1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)


  1. Cut the tomatoes into large cubes.
  2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, pour the olive oil, add red pepper flakes, garlic, onion, most of the oregano, basil and mint (keep a little of each for the end), salt and pepper.
  3. Turn on the fire and heat slowly. Heat for five minutes.
  4. Add the tomato cubes. Turn the heat to medium and stir until they start to boil. Then reduce to a simmer, cover and simmer for 90 minutes.
  5. After 90 minutes, remove from the heat and add the reserved herbs and Parmiggiano cheese.
  6. Optionally add the butter to round out the flavors.
  7. Stir again and serve.
If you're making this recipe, tag Jolliette on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #jolliette, or @jolliette!
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