With this recipe for raw fermented tomato sauce, learn how to preserve your tomatoes using lacto-fermentation!
Extremely simple and with few ingredients, this recipe will allow you to extend the tomato season and enjoy tomatoes’ health benefits by giving you a delicious raw pasta sauce!
Why Ferment Your Tomatoes?
Late summer often means an abundance of tomatoes. While many turn to canning to preserve the crop, fermenting also allows you to rescue tomatoes and extend this popular fruit/vegetable season.
During fermentation, tomatoes get loaded with good probiotic bacteria. That’s why we love to serve them raw, as a delicious, refreshing, and vibrant late summer meal.
And unlike canning, which destroys nutrients through heat, lacto-fermented tomatoes preserve all their vitamins and minerals during fermentation.
Fermentation is also a very safe way to preserve vegetables. Without any sterilization or complicated techniques, vegetables can be preserved without any risk of botulism.
Finally, fermentation does not require any special equipment. All you need to use is fermentation equipment that you may already have at home.
For more information, see How to preserve vegetables with lacto-fermentation.
Processing Tomatoes Into Raw Sauce
During fermentation, tomatoes become slightly more acidic. They also lose some of their sweetness. However, tomato flavours are still present, and the fermentation process gives the mixture a delicious, tangy zing!
As the tomatoes soften slightly during fermentation, we prefer to puree them to focus on their flavour. We also take the opportunity to add our favourite herbs and spices as we see fit.
Depending on your taste buds, add one or two roasted peppers, Italian herbs, basil, pesto, or fermented garlic scape, or whatever you have in your kitchen!
Get inspired by our fermented salsa recipe and roughly chop the tomatoes before adding them to a pasta salad.
Which Tomatoes to Choose?
Any tomato can be used in this recipe: red, yellow, black, etc.
However, some tomatoes have more flavour than others! If available, choose firm tomatoes that have ripened on the plant (even better if they come from your garden).
If possible, choose tomatoes with lots of flesh, such as Italian, beefsteak, or heirloom tomatoes.
You can also ferment cherry tomatoes. They are then consumed like olives, and they pop under the tooth.
Green tomatoes can also be fermented! However, once fermented, they are best served fried or cooked, as they can be quite sour to the taste.
Raw Fermented Tomato Sauce Recipe
- Blender or immersion blender
- Sieve or filter (optional)
For the fermentation process
- 2 to 3 large, ripe, firm tomatoes
- 20 g salt
- ¼ onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 handful basil
For the sauce
- Flavourings to taste: Italian herbs, garlic flower, roasted peppers, etc.
- Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil in the jar. If possible, leave the tomatoes whole.
- If not, cut into quarters.
- Add the salt to the jar. Cover with water.
- Place the weight to keep the vegetables submerged in saltwater.
- Install the airlock lid.
- Let it ferment for 10 days.
- Put in the fridge until ready to use. Can be kept for several months.
Making the Sauce
- With a clean fork, remove the tomatoes and vegetables from the brine. Save the brine for another use (see note).
- Put the vegetables in a powerful blender and puree. Depending on your taste buds, add oregano, Italian herbs, lacto-fermented garlic scape, lacto-fermented basil, or roasted peppers.
- If necessary, adjust the consistency with some of the saved brine. Serve with your favourite pasta.