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+ servings
Grandmas Italian homemade sauce in a cast iron skillet
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Family Heirloom Tomato Sauce

Grandma's tomato sauce uses caramelized onions and bay leaves to make a vibrant sweet sauce. The onions are delicious in the sauce but can be removed before serving for the picky eater, I prefer leaving them in!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword D.O.P Label, Easy to Make, Family heirloom tomato sauce
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
n/a 0 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 173kcal
Author Christy
Cost $5


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 28 oz Hunt’s whole tomatoes San Marzano Tomatoes with the D.O.P label are fantastic too.
  • 1-2 medium onion
  • 3 bay leaves


  • Pour olive oil into a cast-iron skillet or regular skillet on medium-low heat. (This would be a 3 or 4 on my electric stovetop)
  • Slice onions to create onion rings.
    Sliced onion in circle cuts on a cutting board
  • Once the oil is heated, add onions to the pan. Sauté the onions and flip after about 4 minutes and sauté the other side to caramelize.
    Sliced onions in olive oil
  • Add the whole tomatoes. I sometimes use crushed or diced tomatoes, but the original recipe passed down was always whole tomatoes.
  • Add bay leaves. The bay leaves help to sweeten the sauce and make all the difference in this recipe.
  • Use a fork to squish down the tomatoes every so often and stir on a lowish heat.
  • Simmer for about 40-45 minutes uncovered.


Remove the bay leaves from the sauce before serving


Calories: 173kcal