Golden Tomato Sauce Recipe

I spent Saturday brewing beer with my brother-in-law. For dinner, later on, I brought a simple lasagna, using this golden tomato sauce as the base - garlic, red pepper flakes, and olive oil. That's it. It's good on pasta, pizza, and only takes a few minutes to pull together.

Golden Tomato Sauce

I spent last Saturday brewing beer with my brother-in-law. Thankfully he knows what he's doing in this regard, because at this point, I can't say the same for myself. We made an all-grain rye ale, building on this recipe. Put another way, we sat around the garden drinking home brews from the vault, we boiled grains, took a lot of temperatures, transferred huge pots of hot liquid from pot to pot, and enjoyed a perfect day outside. My parents stopped by later on and we had an early dinner. My contribution was a simple lasagna made with a golden tomato sauce I like to make with heirloom tomatoes this time of year. The sauce is good, and it is a great way to use up summer tomatoes.

Golden Tomato Sauce Recipe

The sauce couldn't be simpler. It's similar in spirit to my favorite five minute tomato sauce - but it gets a completely different reaction. People seem to really love the idea of a yellow tomato sauce, maybe because it is a slightly unexpected take on something so familiar. That aspect is certainly one of the things I love about it - change one little variable, and all of a sudden I'm looking at something with fresh eyes.

The sauce - it's bright, a bit garlicky, with a bit of flare from red pepper flakes. Extra-virgin olive oil gives it body and rich mouth feel. And to keep things bright and lively, I tend to cook this sauce until the tomatoes barely begin to break down, just a few minutes. They break down a bit more once off the heat.

Golden Tomato Sauce Recipe

I like to serve it under pan-fried gnocchi sprinkled with lots of slivered basil and a dusting of Parmesan cheese. It's good on it's own slathered on grilled bruschetta, or on pizza. You could thin it out with a bit of broth, zap it with an immersion blender, and add a splash of crème fraîche for a quick soup. And it's delicious with any number of pastas. Like I said, I did one of my whisper-thin layered lasagnas for our family brew-dinner (torn mozzarella / basil), but I'm sure you can think of other ideas as well.

As far as our beer goes, our Ryesundschein is fermenting away in a special, custom-made, insulated, temperature controlled box (thank you Josh!). The next step is bottling. Anyhow, I'm excited - my fingers are crossed that it'll turn out. My first batch of home brew.

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Golden Tomato Sauce Recipe

I don't bother peeling the tomatoes here, but you certainly could. You can also do a double or triple batch. The sauce will keep refrigerated for about a week. Also, the color of your tomatoes will dramatically impact the color of your sauce. I like to choose tomatoes that are bright yellow in color, like you see here. Alternatively, yellow tomatoes with a hint of orange make a striking sauce as well.

1 1/2 pounds / 24 oz / 680g ripe yellow tomatoes, cored and halved

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Run your finger along the inside of each tomato to remove and discard the seeds. Chop the tomatoes into 1/4-inch chunks, reserve any juice, and set aside.

Combine the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper flakes in a cold medium sauce pan. Now, heat the ingredients, stirring occasionally, until the garlic begins to sizzle and take on a bit of color. Stir in the tomatoes and reserved juices, and bring to a simmer. Cook for just a couple minutes, long enough for the tomatoes to start breaking down a bit. Remove from heat, taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Makes 2 cups / 475 ml.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 5 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Oh gosh this looks lovely!!!


your five minute tomato sauce has become a staple around here. we call it the "monday night special" no matter on which night we eat it. as soon as i get myhands on some yellow toms i'm gonna try this variation. mmmm...


Yes, we have no tomatoes--still weeks out here in Seattle. I'm printing your tomato photo, and taping it on my fridge for a little inspiration (and to keep me from crying).

tom | tall clover

what about freezing a sauce like this? I have made yellow sauces for freezing because I too love the color and subtly different tomato taste, but never with such a brief cook time.


Sounds great! Where could I find the lasagna recipe? I only see the tomato sauce one...


Thanks--this is perfect timing for the tomatoes I need to use up!


Wow! That is so easy and sounds delicious. I have never been please with my pasta sauce from fresh tomatoes, but I will have to give it another chance.

City Share

Perfect timing; I have many beautiful heirloom tomatoes from my local market and this is going to work perfectly with my tomatoes. Thank you, Heidi!

The Healthy Apple

This looks wonderful! I just canned tomato sauce, but with red, Juliet tomatoes. I def will have to try this recipe!


Can this sauce be canned? I only have one heirloom yellow tomatoe plant this year and I can tell I'm going to be able to make tons and tons of batchs of this sauce =) BTW: for those wanting heirloom yellow tomatoes (or other colored heirlooms) check out all their seeds are heirloom and they have just about every tomatoe you can imagine


When I saw that first picture I actually thought it looked like dal, Indian curried lentils, and I was kind of confused. Then the "golden" sank in, and I figured it out! I've been making a lot of tomato sauces lately - my standby is Marcella Hazan's tomato, butter, and onion sauce, but Sunday I roasted some mixed heirloom tomatoes with pecorino, herbs, and a bit of butter, and it was fantastic. I never met a (ripe) tomato that I didn't like, but there's just something about heirlooms. And I love the idea of yellow tomato sauce for lasagne - I'm sure the color popped beautifully.


This is so beautiful! What kind of yellow heirlooms are those? I've never seen them that long or so peanut-shaped... HS: Eeek I feel bad, I totally forgot to write down the varietal here. They are comparable in size to San Marzanos. I can check next week at the farmers market, and will report back. For SF locals, I bought them at the Happy Boy farm stand.


Are those yellow San Marzanos? I've never seen a long yellow heirloom before! I have to know the variety for next year's garden! :)


Heidi, I've been following your blog for years and have hooked a number of other foodie friends on it! I love your approach to cooking and eating. One request: I am always printing out your recipes, and I love to include your photos when I do, but they always end up being two pages, taking up too much room in my cooking binder! Is there any way you could do a printable version with the photo that's just one page? I know it's silly, but food and photography just go so well together! Thanks! HS: HI Michelle, let me look into it. I think I might be able to shrink the font size by a point or two, that could help.


This looks great, and definitely fitting for all these summer heirlooms that are popping up everywhere! This is a response for Cara Mae, regarding the removal of the tomato seeds before chopping the tomatoes. It's been my experience that when the seeds cook up, they can tend to turn a little bitter...therefore taking away from the natural sweetness and tomato-ey flavor. Also, it's a texture thing for me. I like a smooth sauce, not one with the occasional crunchy, stuck-in-your-teeth, little seed.


Mmm, yes, tomato sauce. I've been canning it by the pint-case this year, and though I've thrown a few golden tomatoes in, I haven't made any that's exclusively yellow/orange yet. I find those tomatoes to be less acidic, not a bad thing, but I like my sauce to have more bite (though with yours, the heat you add will take care of that). These are lovely photos, as always.

becky and the beanstock

Heidi, it sounds great. I've been trying to use your sauce recipes and I have a question, when you say the tomato should be cored, is it that all the bits in the middle should come out, seeds and the middle piece? HS: Hi Dawn, I take out the hard part, around where the stem connects with the tomato. And Any other sort of paler, harder flesh that exists in that area. Each type of tomato seems to be different, and ripeness affects what I take out too.


Perfect and simple idea for the last of our tomatoes coming in from the summer garden. Not yellow heirlooms, but I think the substitution will work OK. Thanks!

Family Cookbook - Denise

YUM!!! My garden is exploding with golden cherry tomatoes right now. Will have to give this a try! :)

ali @ gimmesomeoven

That would be awesome with polenta!!

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday

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