July 6, 2016 30

Ten Minute Fresh Tomato Sauce with Quick-Stewed Zucchini + White Beans

Ten Minute Fresh Tomato Sauce | @withfoodandlove

I read an article recently about anxiety, and how we have the ability to create self-soothing circuits. We’re born without these, and we build them with age as a way to survive. Some of these circuits are positive, like meditating or cooking or talking to someone on the phone that we love. Others are {can be} negative. Like eating too much, drinking too much, numbing of any kind. For good or bad, I am certain that at least sixty-percent of my self-soothers consist of tomato sauce of some kind. Pizza, pasta, you understand where I’m going with this.

I don’t know a lot about everything, but I do know at least a little bit about tomato sauce.

My best friend and her husband and their baby were visiting us last week. The days were hot and glorious. We spent them mostly in my backyard, eating and drinking, reminiscing and being present with one another. For seven days there was a constant series of ups and downs. Wine and negroni soaked evenings. Hysterics of laughter and tears, sometimes simultaneously. Ramblings of past mistakes and current blessings. And quiet. The comfortable silence of just bring safe with one another.

There was a trip to the pet emergency room. My cat is okay now.

There was a car accident. Everyone is okay now.

Quick-Stewed Zucchini + White Beans | @withfoodandlove

Ten Minute Fresh Tomato Sauce | @withfoodandlove

Ten Minute Fresh Tomato Sauce | @withfoodandlove

Quick-Stewed Zucchini + White Beans | @withfoodandlove

They left. My insides felt empty. It was an emotional week. Life is beautiful. Life is hard. And the last seven days was a reminder that we’re all just doing the best we can. Sometimes it’s a great version of ourselves and sometimes it’s the worst. And all of that is okay.

I was seeking comfort on a primal level. I found myself craving fresh tomato sauce and eating it in some capacity with every meal. A lot of my meals in the summer look like this. A bowl of barely stewed veg, smothered in sauce with a portion of plant-based protein like beans or lentils. It’s like my Italian version of a hippie-dip grain bowl.

I make sauce almost every week, but not usually with fresh tomatoes. I save this experience strictly for the months of June thru September. I’ve been working on a quick, fresh tomato sauce that has layered flavor but uses minimal ingredients and steps. This sauce doesn’t require any blanching. It’s just a chop and go and process kind of situation. It literally comes together in just ten minutes of cooking, but it tastes like it’s been simmering all day. This tomato sauce soothes my soul, and I hope it helps yours too whenever you’re in need.

This post is sponsored by the fine folks over at Green BEAN Delivery. An online grocery service that offers local produce and organic groceries. Started by a husband and wife duo who wanted to create a pathway for sustainable farmers and food artisans to reach the marketplace – its online platform allows for just that. Green BEAN Delivery offers service to Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. And I am giving away $50 worth of groceries to one lucky reader who lives in one of those states! To enter first visit the Green BEAN Delivery guide here to ensure you live within their reach. Then drop me a comment below, letting me know which state you live in. It’s as easy as that. I will announce the winner via email by Friday, July 15 at noon Central.

In the meantime if you’d like to try Green BEAN Delivery feel free to use code ‘FOODLOVE’ for 15% off at checkout.

Quick Stewed Zucchini + White Beans | @withfoodandlove

Quick Stewed Zucchini + White Beans | @withfoodandlove

Ten Minute Fresh Tomato Sauce | @withfoodandlove

Ten Minute Fresh Tomato Sauce | @withfoodandlove

Ten Minute Fresh Tomato Sauce

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Serves 4 cups

The secret to this sauce is in the accuracy of these steps. Be sure to read through the entire recipe before you make it. The sauce will stay refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days, and in the freezer for up to 6 months.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste + 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 cups tomatoes, cored + diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, julienned


  1. In a large sauce pan heat the olive oil over low heat. Toss in the onions, garlic, salt and pepper, and Sweat for three minutes.
  2. While the onions are and garlic are cooking mix the tomato paste with the warm water, and set aside.
  3. To the pan, add in the water, tomatoes and tomato paste mixture and stir to combine well and cover. Turn the heat up to high and simmer for 6 minutes.
  4. Uncover, and remove from heat. Pour the tomatoes into a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until you've reached your desired consistency. Add in the fresh herbs, and pulse once or twice more.
  5. Voila!

Quick-Stewed Zucchini + White Beans

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Serves 2 big bowls

You can sub in almost any vegetable for the zucchini, by adjusting the cooking time. I often make this with eggplant, peppers, summer squash, winter squash, etc. And you can sub in almost any plant-based protein for the white beans. I often use black beans, pinto beans, lentils, quinoa, etc. I make this with my fresh tomato sauce or any jarred sauce I have on hand.


  • 1 medium green zucchini
  • 1 medium yellow zucchini or summer squash
  • 1 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup white beans
  • 1 cup fresh tomato sauce
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • basil, to garnish


  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over low-medium heat.
  2. Add in the zucchini and sauté for 2 minutes. Add in the white beans and the tomato sauce and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes more or until the veg is heated throughout.
  3. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper if desired, and serve warm with a sprinkle of fresh julienned basil.

{{this giveaway is closed}}

This post was sponsored by Green BEAN Delivery; all opinions are my own.

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30 Responses to "Ten Minute Fresh Tomato Sauce with Quick-Stewed Zucchini + White Beans"

  1. Reply


    July 6, 2016 at 11:19 PM

    This looks really delicious! Gorgeous photos!!

  2. Reply

    carol johnson

    July 7, 2016 at 7:10 AM

    I like the tomato sauce recipe. Will try it.

  3. Reply

    amanda paa

    July 7, 2016 at 8:02 AM

    I felt a void when you left too. I feel like sometimes, with the jobs we have, the burdens we carry, doing it alone 90% of the time, it can be so nice to have others who you connect with just simply around. That gives us the go ahead to step away from a lot of the every day, and to just be. The laughs, the conversations, the shared meals – it seems like this was so good for the soul.

    And then this meal, which I can imagine eating outdoors, for lunch, for dinner, hot or cold. So fresh! Especially with that beautiful box of veggies. I really wish they delivered here. Sometimes I’m out of town on the weekends to get to the farmers market, so this would be great for me. xo!

  4. Reply

    Chelsea Edwards

    July 7, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    Looks amazing! And I live in Missouri! Thanks!

  5. Reply


    July 7, 2016 at 10:30 AM

    Looks amazing. I’ll be visiting my family in Ohio soon. Does that count?

  6. Reply

    Jessica Kelley

    July 7, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    Sherrie, your sauce is perfectly simple and looks delicious. Actually, this whole meal looks so delicious and comforting. I can definitely see this going perfectly with crusty bread. I hope this dish soothes your soul in all the ways you need.

    I’m from St. Louis, MO and would love to win the Green BEAN delivery. I’ve never tried them before, but did just see their truck driving the other day!

  7. Reply


    July 7, 2016 at 1:10 PM

    That sauce looks incredible and I’m totally loving the white beans and zucchini- fresh summer bounty! :)

  8. Reply

    Sarah @ Snixy Kitchen

    July 7, 2016 at 2:41 PM

    I know most of my self-soother are negative – eating too many sweets. Tomato sauce sounds like a perfect self-soother too, but in this form, totally a positive! This looks as comforting as it gets. (Also, I HOPE YOUR KITTY IS OKAY!!! SENDING CAT SNUGGLES)

  9. Reply

    Catherine Jackson

    July 7, 2016 at 9:04 PM

    What a great way to use summer veggies! I have been wanting to try this service for awhile. I live in Tennesse!

  10. Reply

    Jayme | holly & flora

    July 7, 2016 at 11:39 PM

    Sherrie, it is so good to check in and remind ourselves what pulls us or what pacifies our longings or what we use as coping mechanisms, both positively or negatively. I’ve been on that thread lately here, too.

    I’m so happy that all is well with respect to family and pets. Thanks for mentioning that it is ALL okay – the days where we are the best versions of ourselves and the days where we completely fall short, in our eyes. All we can do is show up and try our best, from a motivation of love.

    Big love to you, lady. I wish I lived in one of the states in your giveaway. This sounds completely up my alley.

  11. Reply


    July 8, 2016 at 2:09 AM

    Glad there were ups to balance your downs. And an Italian version of a hippie dip grain bowl is SO my jam. You know, minus ME actually being at all Italian. ;) xo!

  12. Reply

    danielle | rooting the sun

    July 8, 2016 at 7:27 PM

    sherrie, be it that everything you touch turns to gold. and the rouge blush of this tomato sauce. there is something to be said about its soul-warming capabilities. every day i’m learning about balance, equality, chaos, patience, and the moments it takes to curate a lifetime of moments. moments that occasionally tax the soul, but are always remedied by heart. love to you.

  13. Reply

    Jennifer Finn

    July 8, 2016 at 10:09 PM

    I am in Ohio.

  14. Reply

    elicia p

    July 8, 2016 at 10:57 PM

    I live in Ohio (according to their site: Ohio Central/North).

  15. Reply


    July 9, 2016 at 10:12 PM

    I don’t live in a state that’s covered, but I wish I was! I made your tomato sauce today and it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Reply


    July 10, 2016 at 8:58 PM

    Thanks for sharing your fantastic-looking tomato sauce recipe! I live in St Louis, MO, and would love to be entered in the giveaway. Thanks!
    PS: I’m glad your cat is OK!

  17. Reply

    Kate Gilliam

    July 11, 2016 at 10:01 AM

    Totally stalking your blog hard in the upcoming weeks to start my pre-wedding/general lifestyle improvement diet makeover. Missouri!

  18. Reply

    Lindsay Patterson

    July 11, 2016 at 10:04 AM

    Looks so good! And I’m in Tennessee!!!!

  19. Reply


    July 11, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    From St. Louis, here!

  20. Reply

    Shelly @ Vegetarian 'Ventures

    July 11, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    I want ALL the veggies! I live in Indiana!

  21. Reply

    Whitney @ The Newlywed Chefs

    July 11, 2016 at 7:53 PM

    St. Louis, MO! Love this fresh, summery recipe!

  22. Reply

    Lindsay Hess

    July 12, 2016 at 8:00 AM

    The tomato sauce looks yummy. I live in IN.

  23. Reply


    July 12, 2016 at 5:50 PM

    I’m in Ohio.

  24. Reply


    July 12, 2016 at 10:53 PM

    Would you believe I was just about to search for tomato sauce recipes when I saw you had a new post? Local tomatoes are just looking divine right now. I cannot wait to give your recipe a go.
    Wishing luck to the contest winner, wellness for your car and soul comforts for you.

  25. Reply

    Mary Beth Elderton

    July 13, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    I live in Missouri, and my address is available! I am so glad to know about this service.

  26. Reply

    Amy Tolley

    July 13, 2016 at 10:03 AM

    I live in Indiana your dishes look amazing…

  27. Reply


    July 13, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    Live in IL!

  28. Reply


    July 13, 2016 at 1:29 PM


  29. Reply

    Yona Williams

    July 13, 2016 at 5:47 PM

    My stepson lives in Illinois, and I will be spending a lot of time there. Would love to try this out.

  30. Reply

    Sarah @ Snixy Kitchen

    July 19, 2016 at 12:07 AM

    Soooo good and so simple! Gave me the perfect excuse to use up all of the truckload of tomatoes my mom brought over from her garden. This sauce tastes so fresh! <3 <3

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With Food + Love © 2018 | All photos + words belong to Sherrie Castellano -- they cannot be used or distributed without permission.