Garden-Fresh Marinara with Whole Wheat Spaghetti

My daughter loves to go out to the garden and pick whatever is ripe.  Right now, that happens to be tomatoes. She came in the house the other day with bags loaded with tomatoes – Roma, Cherry, Celebrity, Champion. I had no idea how I was going to use all of those beautiful tomatoes. One can only eat so many salads and sandwiches!  So, my husband and I decided to make a batch of homemade marinara sauce. We were able to pull a couple of onions out of the garden and we had some fresh garlic from a neighbor’s garden handy. We also have three beautiful basil plants as well as a parsley plant on the deck. Here’s what we threw together, and, as you can imagine, our house smells like a Tuscan kitchen in summer time!

  • 10-12 tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 small onions, chopped (if you are using a conventionally-sized onion, use about 1/2 – 1 onion)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sea salt, to taste
  • fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, torn or chopped
  • 2-3 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup unfiltered olive oil


First, immerse your tomatoes in rapidly boiling water for one minute. Have a large bowl filled with ice cubes and water ready. After your tomatoes have boiled for a minute, use tongs to place the tomatoes in the ice water bath. Remove the tomatoes from the ice water. The skins should peel off easily now.

Peel the tomatoes and remove the seeds. You can either place the tomatoes in a blender (I used my NutriBullet) or chop them up. We did a mixture of about 3/4 pureed and 1/4 chopped.

In the meantime, chop the onions. Place about 2 tbs of unfiltered olive oil in a pot and warm over medium-high heat. Saute the onions until they turn clear. Be careful not to brown the onions. Add the tomato sauce.

Add the chopped garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley and lower heat to low setting. Let cook for several hours (the longer the better!). We added olive oil as the sauce cooked, because it thickens up a lot.

Cook your pasta per package directions and enjoy!