No-Cook Fresh Tomato Sauce


So I had these tomatoes in a bowl…for more than a week. The bowl above, by the way, a recent 1 euro purchase at the Porte de Vanves flea market, my weekend addiction.

They were not Paris-grown or tasty in-season tomatoes. I knew that when I bought them. It is not near tomato season around here. I want to get that right out of the way. But I needed to test a tomato-something and I bought them, and then I was on to something else…and well, there I was, with these so-so looking tomatoes in my bowl getting more wrinkly by the day.

I thought about splitting them open and roasting them, but I was feeling too lazy for that. Instead, I decided to try out a pizza sauce that I’d gotten from the folks at Urban Crust in Dallas a few years back which required no cooking at all. Now the recipe doesn’t call for nearly rotten tomatoes, but I figured these would work just fine.

And oh how they did.

X declared this the best pizza sauce ever, and so did I.

I just peeled these tomatoes and squished them into my bowl, cutting them into chunks if necessary, and added a couple of things, and let this sit out overnight. It looked like a big, watery mess, and I didn’t even taste it. I just covered this up in plastic wrap and put it aside.

The next day, when it was pizza-making time, I peeled back the plastic wrap (the good old American stuff in the yellow box) and noticed that the sauce was no longer watery, but chunky. Hmmm. Then I tasted it. Double hmmm…then WOW.

Tomato fairies! They must’ve known that I was about to leave Paris (and leave before the tomatoes arrive), so they decided to give me a little treat. Somehow, these tomatoes developed a taste that was altogether…summer tomatoey.

I’m sure this’ll be even better when the real ones arrive. To be sure, I’ll be testing this again with Texas tomaotes this summer, between book signings and drinking coffee on the sofa with Mom.

No-Cook Fresh Tomato Sauce

Makes enough for 4 to 5 pizzas

  • 2 pounds/1 kilo of fresh tomatoes
  • about 6 large basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon of oregano
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper

1. Put a deep saucepan of water onto boil. Make an “X” with your knife on the ends of the tomatoes, so you can have little handles to pull the skin off. When the water boils, place the tomatoes in the water for 30 seconds. Remove, let cool, and peel off the skins.

2. Squish your tomatoes into a large bowl with your hands. You may need to cut away some of the hard white core, depending on the type of tomatoes. Add the basil, oregano, olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and pepper and cover with plastic wrap. Do not refrigerate – keep this at room temperature. Let this sit at least overnight or 24 hours if you can. Taste the sauce before you use it and adjust any seasonings. I love this for pizza, but it would be just as fab tossed with pasta.