Nonna’s Tomato Sauce | Acne Nutritionist | Katie Stewart

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Nonna's tomato sauce in a white bowl on marble counter
August 28, 2021

Nonna’s Tomato Sauce

Nonna’s Tomato Sauce

I like to say I’m an adopted Italian. My mom married my step-dad when I was 8 and I was immediately thrust into the world of Sunday night dinners at Nonno & Nonna’s house, wine with all meals and charcuterie boards as a way of life.

Sunday night dinners are some of my favourite childhood memories. And not just because my Nonno would mix a little wine into our glass of 7-Up when my mom wasn’t looking. Italian’s start wine drinking young.

We’d arrive for dinner and the entire house was filled with my most favourite aroma — Nonna’s cooking. She would make everything from scratch — including her 25 layer lasagna. The handmade noodles were paper thin and melted in your mouth.

While she didn’t write the lasagna recipe down, she did teach me how to make it once when I was around 12 years old. Today I’m sharing just the sauce recipe (I’ll leave the lasagna for another blog).

Every time I make her sauce, I’m relying on my childhood memory so it may have gotten muddled around over the years. But while my Nonno was alive he’d comment it’s “very close” to hers with a wink.

I’ve adapted her original recipe very slightly (don’t look at me like that, Nonna) by swapping the white sugar for honey. The thing that really makes it taste like hers is the cinnamon stick. It’s very subtle but makes all the difference.

As a final ode to my Nonna, I also make sure to use her sauce pots and wooden spoons I inherited after she passed.

Skin Benefits of Tomatoes

Before we get to my Nonna’s tomato sauce recipe, let’s dive into the skin-loving nutrients within this fruit.

Tomatoes are filled with a number of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, manganese and potassium. When it comes to the skin, though, here are the nutrients that stand out the most.

1. Vitamin A

A medium, red, raw tomato has about 1,025 international units of vitamin A. That’s 20 percent of the daily value for this nutrient. The vitamin A in tomatoes is fantastic for reducing acne and scars because it promotes cell turnover, decreases oil production and then clears the pores. Thanks to its anti-aging properties, vitamin A also brightens the skin, reduces signs of aging and protects your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays.

2. Vitamin C

Along with vitamin A, tomatoes also contain about 15.6 milligrams of vitamin C. That’s about 26 percent of the daily value for this vitamin. The vitamin C in tomatoes is needed for the production of collagen. This protein stimulates cell turnover, keeps the skin firm and strengthens the skin’s structural matrix.

The part of the tomato that is the most abundant in vitamin C is the gel-like substance around the tomato seeds. So make sure you don’t waste this important juice when cutting tomatoes.

3. Lycopene and Lutein

Other nutrients found in tomatoes that can support healthy skin are lycopene and lutein. Just like vitamins A and C, lycopene and lutein help protect your skin from damaging UV rays and improve skin texture.

Inflammation-Fighting Antioxidants

As you can see, tomatoes have a load of nutrients. The one thing those nutrients have in common is that they are all antioxidants that reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. They do so by decreasing the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and stabilizing free radicals.

This is vital for acne sufferers because inflammation and oxidative stress are at the core of acne. That’s why I recommend anti-inflammatory foods like tomatoes to my clients in my acne program, The Clear Skin Solution.

*While tomatoes are can be anti-inflammatory for most, it’s important to remember that they’re a part of the nightshade vegetable family, which includes eggplant, peppers and potatoes too. So those with an arthritic-type of pain may do best without tomatoes and other nightshades.

Sunday Dinner

To make this into a full Sunday dinner, use your favourite pasta as a base (I love chickpea, organic brown rice or spiralized zucchini noodles). It pairs great with my Creamy Hemp Heart Caesar Dressing over leafy greens. If you’d like to amp up your veggie intake, adding in my Rosemary Honey Carrot Ribbons would be a great addition.

Nonna’s Tomato Sauce

Not only is my Nonna's tomato sauce delicious, but it's great for the skin too. Here's a breakdown of the skin-loving nutrients in tomatoes.

15 minPrep Time

3 hrCook Time

3 hr, 15 Total Time

Yields 2-3 cups

Author:

Recipe Image
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Ingredients

  • 5-6 lbs Roma or San Marzano tomatoes (sub 1x 796mL can organic diced tomatoes)
  • 1 can organic tomato paste (157mL)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 ceylon cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Unrefined pink or sea salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.

Instructions

  1. If using fresh tomatoes, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add whole tomatoes and boil for 1-2 minutes to loosen the skin. Strain and add to an ice bath to stop cooking (I fill up a clean sink with cold water). Use a knife to make a slit in the skin and peel off. Roughly chop tomatoes.
  2. Warm olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onions and garlic. Saute until translucent (about 4-5 minutes).
  3. Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients to the onion mixture. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer on low uncovered for 2-3 hours (or until desired sauce consistency reached). Stir occasionally.
  5. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to make a smooth sauce (a regular blender works great, too).
  6. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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Let's get your skin finally cleared up.

After years of dealing cystic breakouts, I cleared up my skin for good by fixing my gut, liver and hormones. I went back to school for nutrition and then said seeya later to my job in television. I launched an online nutrition business (before working from home was a thing) so I could help as many women as possible feel confident AF in their own skin, too.

check out my programs here →

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Before & Afters

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

client love

next

"

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

client love

next

"

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

client love

next

"