Cooking for a Cause with SFC – Tomato Sauce Edition

It was an amazing first class and I am so thankful for everyone that participated. We raised over $1500 making my (almost world-famous) Tomato Sauce and for those that couldn’t join live, I have a detailed recipe below!

The world is experiencing a new reality. This is a strange and scary time. However, it’s one where many folks have time to reflect, spend time with themselves, and try something new.

I decided to offer a virtual cooking class to raise money for my community.

Yesterday was my first class benefitting Sustainable Food Center (SFC). They had to cancel Farm to Plate, their annual fundraising event, for the first time in its 13-year history due to the COVID-19 crisis.

As long lines grow at grocery stores and demand for food in our community spikes, SFC’s work is more critical than ever.

They are tirelessly advocating on behalf of growers to be sure locally grown food reaches those who need it most, including our neighbors who receive food assistance and may not be able to find what they need at overburdened grocery stores.

I shop at SFC markets almost every week, I have been a volunteer there for the last 4 years, and I truly believe in the work they are doing.

Last night was an amazing first class and I am so thankful for everyone that participated. We raised over $1500 making my (almost world-famous) Tomato Sauce. For those that couldn’t join live, I have a detailed recipe below!

See here all the awesome photos from the class!

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This recipe is meant to be a starter recipe. From here, you can expand and get creative with both ingredients, cook time, and style of sauce. So, if you’re ever looking for a different kind of tomato sauce, a lot of the basics here will remain the same. Send me a message on instagram and I can help share some easy modifications to fit your needs!

Ingredient list:

  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic (more if you like garlic)
  • 1 lb of your favorite ground meat
    (If you don’t eat meat, or if you prefer mushrooms they are great too – cut them into thin slices)
  • 1 large can of diced or whole peeled tomato (28oz)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 package of pasta
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dried Oregano
  • Dried basil
  • Dried parsley
  • Olive oil
  • (If you have fresh herbs they are great too but not necessary for the recipe)
  • ***Optional (3 carrots, 2 stalks of celery)



  1. Start by chopping you onion, celery, and carrot into small 1/8 inch pieces and put to the side.
  2. Mince your garlic cloves and add them to the bowl.
  3. Turn on your sauce pan to medium heat and add you perferred cooking oil.
  4. Add your chopped veggies to create your mirepoix and cook them over medium heat for 5-10 min until your onions are translucent or the veggies start to brown.
  5. Halfway through your sautee, add a pinch of salt to the pan and mix it in.
  6. Now add your ground meat or mushrooms to the pan and mix it throughout.
  7. Cook the meat/mushrooms until browned ~5 minutes
  8. Next, add your large can of diced or whole peel tomato with all the liquid. (If you have whole tomato, I like to crush them in my hands before putting into the sauce, this give your sauce nice sized chunks of tomato.
  9. Bring the sauce to a boil and then turn your heat to low and add in your spices. (Be generous with your herbs, they will add a lot of delicious flavor. I recommend at least 1/2 Tbsp. of  each parsley, basil, and oregano, if not more. Salt and pepper to taste. Add crushed red pepper if you like some heat.
  10. Once you have your spices mixed in and the sauce is bubbling, add 1-2 Tbps of tomato paste. (If you like a thicker sauce, use more).
  11. Finally, cover your sauce and leave it on low heat for at least 30 minutes. The longer you let the sauce cook the better it will get. I like to try and let my sauce cook for at least an hour or two to maximize the flavors. However, it will be ready to eat after 30 minutes!

Again, this sauce is the base version of my tomato experiments and can be expanded on or modified in any number of ways. Some of my favorite things to do is add fennel, or use fresh tomato and roast them prior to adding them to the pot.

I got quite a few questions last night about how long this sauce will stay and if it’s better to eat fresh. It freezes really well and I think that the leftover ends up tasting better than the first night. I love making shakshuka with my leftover sauce for breakfast the next day.

Thank you again for all who supported and please be in touch if you have any questions or comments about the recipe! To keep donating to SFC, you can do so here!

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