Golden Rustic Marinara Sauce

Pasta with red sauce is iconic, I know… but with the HUGE variety of tomatoes out there in the world (and if you grow them like we do, in your garden) it seems unfair not to give these tasty lil babies a chance to steal the show at your next pasta night?

This sauce is so super simple you will kick yourself for not buying more tomatoes when you see them on sale.

It is SO tasty that you will want to make fresh sauce every time you put ‘Pasta Night’ on your meal planner.

It is SO beautiful, you will wonder why it took a tiktok trend to put the spotlight on making something other than red sauce (not digging on red sauce, but this one is just sooooo good, it’s addictive!)

This year we grew an orange/golden Roma tomato. We usually grow beefsteak style yellow or orange tomatoes as slicers, but for some reason I had a ‘moment’ and forgot to seed start them. *slaps forehead* By the time I realized that I was missing this stripe of our slicing rainbow it was too late to start them and I was relegated to the offerings of local big box stores.

Guess what? NO ORANGE SLICING TOMATOES…. not a Kellog’s Breakfast, Dad’s Sunset or even a Big Rainbow to be found out there…. nuthin’. NADA.

Then I came across what was labeled as the Golden Sauce Roma at Lowes. Basically it is an orange Roma and I took a chance on one plant… I wasn’t really sure about it, as I love orange tomatoes in my pies or sandwiches or salsas, but… sure, I had committed to canning more pasta sauce this season so – why not, right?

Well folks, let me tell you. This tomato is AMAZING. It set prolific amounts of flower and fruit, are delicious right off the plant and make a sauce that is low acid and incredible FRESH. (I also had a handful of Bosque Bumblebee tomatoes that were about to go bad so added them in as well… The BB is a extra large cherry tomato that has blue shoulders… again, low acid but extremely flavorful and a chef favorite for it’s striking looks.)

(Note: this recipe is for a FRESH SAUCE, not one for canning as the skins are left on. It is also a small batch in order to be used immediately. If you are planning on bulking the recipe up in order to can and make shelf stable, please consult and follow proper canning guides to ensure safety in your canned sauce. As this is low acid, it is very important to understand what you need to do in order to can this sauce safely for yourself, your family and potentially others if you plan to gift it. Not trying to be a downer, but safety when you preserve low acid items is very important!)

The recipe below is for ONE meal of pasta. It takes just 1 pound of tomato (which gives you all without gardens the ability to buy enough at the store which will NOT break your bank account) and let me say this – it might be our new favorite sauce to make. Bright, clean tasting and light, this sauce was a perfect compliment to our homemade hot chicken meatballs and paccheri and required just a quick finish of fresh grated parmesan and a shake of red pepper flakes.

Let’s get after it, shall we?


  • 1 pound orange or golden tomatoes, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1-3 cloves of garlic, minced (depending on size and how much you love garlic. I used one MASSIVE one that was about 3 normal cloves.)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 big fresh basil leaves sliced into ribbons, divided
  • 1/4 cup water (if needed to thin sauce a bit)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place oil into a heavy bottomed medium sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Add in garlic and sauté for less than 30 seconds, basically just stir the garlic around the oil once or twice then add in the chopped tomatoes. Stir to fully combine with garlic.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and add a pinch of salt and half of the basil.
  4. Continue to simmer sauce for 15 minutes. The tomatoes will break down and the sauce start to thicken. Stir frequently so to avoid burning.
  5. At the 15 minute mark, check the consistency of the sauce. If it has thickened too much, add a few tbsp of water to thin. (I used about 1/4 cup as the tomatoes were very fleshy and sauce had thickened quite a bit. This is meant to be a thinner sauce that still has some texture and chunk to it.) Stir in water until the desired consistency is reached then turn off the heat.
  6. Transfer sauce into a pint ball jar (or small bowl if you prefer.)
  7. Using an immersion blender (stick blender) pulse the sauce a few times to break up the tomato a bit more. You can choose to run the blender longer if you want a smoother sauce.
  8. At this point, add in the rest of the basil and taste. Adjust salt and pepper as desired. (You can also run the blender a few pulses to incorporate the basil, salt and pepper too…)
  9. Use within 3-5 days, store in airtight container in fridge.

When I say this sauce is quick, I mean it. From prep to finished, it is done in less than 30 minutes.

I made this sauce as the pasta was cooking and as I was pan frying the meatballs!

This is a very simple and clean sauce that allows you to adjust the flavors as desired as well. It is NOT a very forgiving sauce, so if you add sugar (I know, I know, some tomato sauces require this to temper the acidity a bit, but this one does not) it will be too sweet. If you add red pepper flakes? Keep to a minimum and I would suggest just using it to finish your plating versus adding as the sauce cooks.

I mean, what a GORGEOUS sauce! (below you can see it compared to a basic pizza sauce I made the same day.)

As this is a simple rustic sauce, I would also suggest NOT adding crumbled meat protein to it directly as it cooks, but to use the sauce as a canvas to dress those proteins. Meatballs, grilled chicken, sliced sweet or hot Italian sausage would ALL be incredible with this sauce but added separately when plating, not as a part of the sauce itself.

I’d love to hear how you use this sauce, and if you enjoy it, share the recipe and tag @dragonbrookfarm with your post!

Amore e pasta sempre

(Love and Pasta Always!)


2 Comments Add yours

  1. BERNADETTE says:

    I never heard of golden roma tomatoes and these are gorgeous. I’ll bet they would make a delicious tomatoe jam.


    1. Oh they DO! They are slightly sweet and very well rounded in term of profile (in my opinion). You can get seeds online but often they not very easy to find as I think it is a newer hybrid? Victory Seeds has them listed as Italian Gold Paste style tomato 🙂


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