Chefs' Recipes

Capitano's basic tomato sauce

Bottle up the goodness of tomatoes when they're at their peak.

By Casey Wall
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 50 mins cooking (plus infusing)
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"This is a basic tomato sauce that preserves the freshness and vibrancy of in-season tomatoes," says Capitano's Casey Wall. "Don't overcook it – overcooked sauces become dull and jammy and lose any sense of ripeness and freshness."


  • 2 kg very ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored and bases scored
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 basil stems, coarsely chopped
  • 5 parsley stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, bruised
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes


  • 1
    For infused oil, combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat and stir until just starting to sizzle (2 minutes). Remove from heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes, then strain.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, blanch tomatoes in a saucepan of boiling water until skins to start to curl and look like they are going to slide off (5-20 seconds; do not overcook). Transfer to an ice bath immediately.
  • 3
    Peel and discard skin from tomatoes and coarsely chop flesh, removing as many seeds as possible. Add tomatoes to a wide saucepan, sprinkle with sugar and 2 tsp sea salt flakes and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced by a quarter (40-45 minutes). Remove from heat, gradually whisk in infused oil, and season to taste. Tomato sauce will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 5 days, or frozen for 3 months.