It’s only a matter of days until the bright, fresh local tomatoes I’ve been enjoying so much for the past few months vanish until next year. With that in mind, I wanted to preserve the last days of summer with a wonderful, chunky tomato sauce. It’s perfect with fresh pasta, on top of grilled fish or chicken, or mixed with roasted vegetables. Or, if you’d like to follow my lead and savor a little bit of summer during the chilly winter months, this sauce freezes wonderfully, just let it cool fully before transferring to the freezer.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 pounds ripe tomatoes, stem section removed and cut into small chunks
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. Heat oil in a large, wide skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, increase the heat to high, and season with salt and pepper. Add herbs and spices, and stir to combine.
  3. When mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 1 to 2 hours (the longer it goes, the less chunky it will become), stirring occasionally.
  4. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.