Simple Fresh “Grape Tomato” Sauce with Basil…

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well … I wanted to share with all of you one of the easiest tomato sauces you can make from fresh tomatoes.

I usually make this sauce from grape or cherry tomatoes. And you will be surprised to find out the other simple ingredients for a quick fresh delicious tomato sauce that you can make at home and you will never need to buy a jarred sauce again.

In my Italian home jarred sauce was forbidden. You couldn’t even say the words jarred sauce to my Mother or Grandmother.

In fact, the first recipe I was ever taught from my Mother was how to make the weekly Sunday Sauce. She told me once you master this, you can add it to anything and survive- pasta, chicken cutlets, meatballs, rice and her list went on and on.

The Sunday sauce is a little more involved with various cuts of meat and more ingredients and a low and slow process of hours to cook, but this is a quick sauce with minimal ingredients and a fabulous flavor.

Of course, the fresher the tomatoes the better the outcome but I have to say this really never disappoints.

I add a few extra ingredients when I want the sauce a little spicier and I will list that in the ingredient list below in the recipe, but otherwise it is a tried and true winner.

So lets get started.

The only equipment I suggest you use is a 12- inch skillet with sides.

I find this pan so valuable in the kitchen for many recipes but especially for this sauce to avoid splatters all over your kitchen when the tomatoes burst (don’t be scared, it’s not that bad).

Last night I served this sauce (I made mine spicy) with asparagus and goat cheese filled ravioli and I roasted some additional asparagus spears to serve as a side along with the fresh ravioli…… so delicious!

Cherry tomato sauce – serves 4-6


  • 2-3 pints of grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic -minced
  • Fresh basil- 1 cup (and additional leaves to garnish)
  • Salt and fresh pepper
  • 1 tsp. of dried oregano
  • Grated cheese for serving
  • Pasta of your choice – 1 lb.
  • 1 ladle of saved pasta water
  • OPTIONAL – ½ tsp of garlic powder
  • OPTIONAL – for a little spicy addition – ½ tsp of jarred Calabrian chili peppers (see image below) OR 1/8 tsp or red pepper flakes)


Boil water in a large saucepan (with added salt) and cook the pasta as per package directions.

In the meantime, heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. ADD the garlic and sauté for 1 minute until a slight golden color.

ADD the tomatoes, salt & pepper and half of the torn basil leaves, oregano and IF USING, garlic powder and the Calabrian chili peppers or red pepper flakes.

Cook stirring occasionally until the tomatoes start to burst open and their juices are released.  If the tomatoes are not all bursting after 6 minutes, I take a potato masher and manually burst the remainder of whole tomatoes. –BE CAREFUL– the squirting juices from the tomatoes are very hot and you can get burned easily- wear an oven mitt when mashing.

Continue to cook the sauce for an additional 5 minutes and add a ladle of pasta water to thin the sauce a bit and also add a little starchy water to enhance the flavor of the sauce.

Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce, additional basil, and grated cheese. Enjoy


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