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Vertical closely cropped overhead image of a white ceramic bowl of homemade golden tomato sauce topped with a sprig of basil for garnish, on a white countertop.

Golden Tomato Sauce

  • Author: Fanny Slater
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: About 1 cup 1x


Need a change from regular red marinara? This golden tomato sauce is vibrant, sweet, and citrusy, thanks to a touch of delicate lemon basil.


  • 4 medium golden tomatoes, cored
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh lemon basil leaves (or substitute regular basil), thinly sliced, divided


  1. Cut a small “X” on the bottom of each tomato.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and generously season it with salt. Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water.
  3. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water and blanch them for 1 minute. Remove them with a slotted spoon and add them to the ice bath. Once they’re cool enough to handle, peel away and discard their skins. Quarter each tomato and discard any watery seeds.
  4. In a medium saucepot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and swirl to coat. Add the garlic, shallots, and crushed red pepper flakes. Saute until very fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the tomatoes, sugar, thyme, salt, and pepper. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture begins to bubble and simmer.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, and add the Parmesan and half of the basil. Cover the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  7. Using a potato masher, crush and break down the tomatoes. Just before serving, stir in the remaining basil and season to taste with additional salt. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: tomato sauce, marinara, golden tomatoes, pasta