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Sugo: Juice of Life

From Robin Morgan, Seed Savers Exchange intern and Italian chef

Ideal Market bean

The Italian word sugo means both “juice of life” and a tomato-based pasta sauce. To call something sugo is to say it is rich, interesting, and worthy.

Serves about 4 to 6 (recipe is easily doubled)


  • 15 (medium) paste tomatoes (like Salvaterra’s Select)
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Fresh or dried oregano
  • Fresh or dried basil
  • Olive oil
  • Salt


Chop onions and garlic cloves into tiny pieces and gently cook in a pot with salt and olive oil until they soften.

Meanwhile, remove the peduncle attachment (stem) from your tomatoes and cut tomatoes into one-inch pieces.

Add the cut tomatoes to the pot, and cook for 30 minutes.

Blend the entire contents of the pot using an immersion blender, adjust salt, add herbs (let it rest for 15 minutes, if possible), and enjoy.