I love love love heirloom tomatoes, but I loathe loathe loathe that their season is so stinkin’ short. As I’ve been wanting to make tomato sauce from scratch for quite some time now, I figured, what better way to prolong heirloom tomato consumption than in the form of a delicious sauce? Add some basil and garlic as the other main ingredients, and mouth-watering flavor is guaranteed.

So what are heirloom tomatoes, anyway? What makes these tomatoes so special, aside from their short season and delectable taste, is that their seeds date back to at least 50 years ago. Often, this is in the form of the seeds being saved year after year by generation after generation. Furthermore, there are so many glorious varieties to choose from. For this sauce, I selected five different varieties to ensure complex flavor, as each variety brings a slightly different flavor profile to the mix.

Although I certainly don’t know all the varieties by name, I can at least break some of the flavor profiles down for you by using color as a guide:

  • Green: sweet, spicy, aromatic
  • Yellow: dense, meaty, low acidity
  • Orange: sweet, beefy, dense
  • Red: creamy, sweet, dense
  • Purple: sharp, mildly spicy, juicy

To learn more about the specific types of heirloom tomatoes and how they are best served, check out this post on the Whole Foods blog. In the meantime, try out this yummy sauce before it’s too late! While it will obviously taste amazing on pasta in any form, I served it with stuffed peppers. (Recipe for those babies to come soon!)

Note: This recipe yields two quarts (2 large mason jars) of sauce.

What you’ll need:

  • 5 lb. heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/2 a Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
  • Cracked black pepper and Himalayan salt to taste

What you’ll do:

  • De-stem the tomatoes and slice an X onto their bottoms
  • Next, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and place the tomatoes into the boiling water
  • Meanwhile, fill a large mixing bowl with ice water
  • When the skins of the tomatoes begin to peel off (2-5 minutes depending on the variety), remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and transfer to the ice water; once cool, remove them from the ice water and peel the skins off
  • In as many batches as necessary, run all the tomatoes (minus two) through a food processor or blender, and then, transfer to a slow cooker
  • Chop the remaining two tomatoes and add to the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients
  • Cook on high for 3 hours