Pomodoro Fresco

This is the closest thing you’ll get to that “dipping sauce” most good NYC style pizza shops give you in a cup; it’s deceptively simple.

Love, Jimi


  1. 1 can 28 oz (800 grams) whole peeled tomatoes
    1. If you can, use heirloom tomatoes, it brings this up to whole other level. Concassé, no skin or seeds.
  2. 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter
  3. 1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1 clove Thin-sliced garlic (optional)


  1. Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep a low simmer.
    • Add garlic now if using. I would do no more than one clove sliced, not minced.
  3. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.
  4. After 30 minutes, or until droplets of fat float on top of the sauce. Remove from heat and discard the onion.
  5. Correct with salt to taste. Tomatoes can take a lot of it, right up to the point that they can’t.
  6. Run an immersion blender through it if you want it really smooth.
  7. Serve (each time) with a bit of fresh lemon zest just enough for the portion, you don’t want to store or cook the zest by reheating the sauce with the zest mixed-in. 


  • Fresh tomatoes are key here, this is all about highlighting the quality and seasonality of the tomato.
  • Heirlooms: Yellow is light and sweet, red, brown and purple are heavier and meaty. 
  • Fresh basil ala minute of service optional.
  • Garlic gets stronger the smaller you make it. Thick slices are mild, Microplaned pieces start clearing out your sinuses.
  • I’ll just eat this on some toasted baguette with a hunk of fresh mozzarella or peppered ricotta cheese. Keep it simple. 

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