Fresh Tomato Sauce

Fresh Tomato Sauce Laughter and Lemonade basil wine onion garlic italian

This is my favorite way to make fresh tomato sauce.  The flavors are incredible: sweet, savory, umami (yes, tomatoes have umami!), fresh, Italian, summery.

You start by roasting the tomatoes in the oven which makes them sweet.  Because of this, you you can actually make this sauce year-round, even when tomatoes aren’t sweet or in season. Thankfully we don’t have to worry about that right now since it’s summer!!  The weather’s been in the 90’s here!!  I’m loving it.

Fresh Tomato Sauce | Laughter and Lemonade basil italian onion garlic summer

While the tomatoes are roasting, you sauté onion and garlic in butter and olive oil.  Butter adds a rich, different flavor to the sauce that I love as opposed to just olive oil.  Then you de-glaze the pan with white wine.  By then, the tomatoes are done roasting.  They’re caramelized and burst, releasing their sweet juices.  You add the tomatoes and the juices to to the pan with the onion mixture and let it simmer just a bit longer.  Stir in some fresh basil, and bam.  The most flavorful fresh tomato sauce.

The key to this recipe is actually the fresh basil.  It makes such a difference.  You could use dried basil, but I’m telling you the fresh basil takes it to a whole new level.

Fresh Tomato Sauce | Laughter and Lemonade basil italian onion garlic

I usually serve this sauce over thin spaghetti and my Easy Baked Chicken Parm.  It would also be great over a white fish like cod, halibut, or sea bass.  It would even be a great bruschetta topping with some parmesan.  Leftover sauce is also awesome stirred into a frittata… just sayin’.

Because I usually make them together, here’s a video where I show you just how to make both at the same time with some pasta!  Or, you can skip down below for the full recipe.  Buon appetito!

Be sure and leave your questions or comments below.  Especially if you make the dish, I’d love to hear how it turned out for you!

Fresh Tomato Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is one of my all-time favorite ways to make tomato sauce. You don't even have to wait for summer when tomatoes are in season, because by roasting the tomatoes their sweetness is enhanced!
Serves: 4 servings
  • 5 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup white wine (I use Chardonnay)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  1. Heat oven to 425 F.
  2. Toss tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tomato skins have popped and their juices are releasing.
  3. Meanwhile heat a large pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add the white wine and cook another minute.
  4. By now the tomatoes should be done. Add them and all of their juices to the pan with the onions. Turn down the heat and simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes until the juices thicken. Turn off the heat and stir in the basil.
  5. Serve over spaghetti and Easy Baked Chicken Parmesan or your favorite dish!


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