Ugly Tomato Sauce

Those overripe tomatoes may look as if they were forgotten in the sun, crushed by a milk carton, dropped on the kitchen floor -- or maybe, all three! But don't throw them out. Waste less and use those cracked, bruised beauties to make a sweeter, better-tasting sauce all at the same time.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: about 4 cups (16 servings)
  • Nutrition Info
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8 medium overripe and cracked or bruised tomatoes

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1/4 medium onion, diced (about 3 tablespoons)

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 small bunch fresh basil, leaves chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Trim away the bruised, cracked or moldy parts of the tomatoes and discard. Roughly chop the tomatoes, reserving their juices, and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the garlic and onion, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with about half of their juices (discard the rest), thyme and basil leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and add pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
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