Tomato Sauce with Zucchini, Summer Squash, and Eggplant

It might seem like I eat such a variety of foods because of what I show here, but much of the time I’m not blogging, I’m eating pasta and red sauce. Its one of the few meals I literally never get bored with, which is great because I can make a big batch of tomato sauce and use it throughout the week. For all of those not-for-the-blog meals.

(Ok, I don’t eat it for all of my non-blog meals. But often.)

My personal favorite tomato sauce comes from, not surprisingly, one of my favorite cookbooks, Marco Canora’s Salt to Taste. It has sort of changed my life.

Tomato Sauce with Zucchini, Summer Squash, and Eggplant

I just never knew you could make such a delicious tomato sauce with so few ingredients before this recipe. It has just canned tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil, and butter. Lately I’ve even been omitting the butter and not really missing it a whole lot. But then again, I do add more olive oil, garlic, and spice than the original.

Tomato Sauce

After cooking the garlic in the olive oil and simmering it with the tomatoes for a half hour or so, it gets blended with fresh basil leaves and magically turns this beautiful creamy orange color. I love it.

My mom and I caught up over dinner the night Matt and I got back from Ann Arbor last week. It was unplanned, and I had basically no food at home, so we had some of her leftover grilled zucchini and some pantry things to work with. Naturally, I made this tomato sauce with zucchini. She’s going to stop thinking so highly of my culinary skills if I keep making her tomato sauce all the time…


But anyways, I liked the combination so much that I made it again later that same week, but with a combination of roasted zucchini, summer squash, and eggplant for a little variety. See? I never get sick of it.

Tomato Sauce with Zucchini, Summer Squash, and Eggplant

I roasted the vegetables separately and added them to the blended sauce. I also left the vegetables quite chunky. You can cut them however you like, but I think leaving them chunky makes the sauce super versatile.

Tomato Sauce with Zucchini, Summer Squash, and Eggplant

While I originally ate this sauce with pasta, I turned leftovers into a topping for quinoa on one afternoon and as a base for poached eggs for some breakfasts. It’s also great combined with ground sausage in any or all of those combinations.

Tomato Sauce with Zucchini, Summer Squash, and Eggplant

No matter how you use the sauce, some freshly grated Parmesan on top is always key.

Tomato Sauce with Zucchini, Summer Squash, and Eggplant

Yield: About 10 cups of sauce

Tomato Sauce with Zucchini, Summer Squash, and Eggplant

Adapted from Marco Canora's Rich Tomato Sauce recipe from Salt to Taste


  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound yellow squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 10 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
  • Serving suggestions: regular or whole wheat pasta, quinoa, or with crusty bread and poached eggs


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread the vegetables out over two sheet pans in an even layer and drizzle with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat evently. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and browned in some spots.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, heat the remaining olive oil over low heat in a large pot. Add the garlic cloves and chili flakes. Cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes with their juices and increase the heat to high. Break up the tomatoes a little bit with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper and bring the sauce to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and either puree with a hand blender or transfer to a blender. Either way, blend until completely smooth. Blend in the basil at the end.
  • If you used a blender, transfer the sauce back to the pot and add the roasted vegetables. Stir to incorporate and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.


I used an equal amount of eggplant, yellow squash, and zucchini, but feel free to use any combination you wish (or even just use one of the vegetables).

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  • Maria Tadic

    There’s just something so comforting about pasta and red sauce. I never get bored with it either!

  • MichellePC

    Growing up I loathed spaghetti and red sauce – my mom made it alllll the time. But in recent years, I’ve grown to love it again! And I love adding fresh veggies to it – they add a little “meat” without being overly heavy.

  • Meghan

    I’ve been craving comfort food but also really needing veggies. This looks perfect.

  • Joanne (eats well with others)

    This is the kind of meal that i LOVE! And I need to remember to make more batches of tomato sauce just to get us through the week with easy meals. It’s such a great idea!

  • Ashley Bee

    This reminds me of an excellent recipe that uses goat cheese. Maybe I could put some goat cheese in here somewhere… seriously great recipe though, perfect summer pasta. I cannot WAIT for my farm share to come in so I can make stuff like this!

    • Colleen

      That would be really good in this! I love the way goat cheese melts into tomato sauce.

  • Megan

    I eat pasta with red sauce all the time too… I’ll never get sick of it. Love throwing veggies in it like this!

  • Bianca Garcia

    I would be all over this too! I never tire of pasta and red sauce as well.

  • Shannon G

    i don’t know why i don’t make more tomato sauce… especially when you throw as many veggies in as this 🙂 yum!

  • Ca4ole

    Lovely work! Would you be happy to link it in to the current
    Food on Friday which is all about sauces?
    This is the
    . I do hope to see you
    there. There are already quite a lot of links for you to check out. Cheers

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