Raw Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce (lacto-fermented)

I have been so in love with my fermented salsa recipe that I wanted to apply the same principle to an Italian style sauce.

If you are new to fermenting this is a perfect recipe to start your family with as it is so delicious that no one will know your little secret.  While I love sauerkraut, it can be an acquired taste 😉 This recipe is a less hardcore way to reap all of the probiotic benefits associated with these types of foods.  To read more about fermenting and why you should be doing it, check out the “Fabulous Ferments” section on the recipe page at the top of this site.

Because this is a live food, we need to be conscious to consume it raw.  It is possible to heat it slightly, but once heated the probiotics and enzymes begin to die off.  To play it safe, I like this best turned into dishes which keep it as raw as possible.


To use this sauce to make the best bruschetta:

Grill slices of good quality bread (I like sourdough).  If desired rub the warm bread with a sliced garlic clove.  Spoon sauce over bread.  Top with a piece of torn fresh mozzarella or a sprinkling of parmesan (omit to keep it vegan).  Eat ❤


To make the best pasta salad:

Boil 1lb pasta noodles.  Drain and allow to cool for a few moments.  Do not rinse.  Add half of a quart of the sauce.  Stir.  Add more sauce as needed to reach the consistency that you like.  Add 2 cups of halved bocconcini (omit for vegans).  Tear over another 1/4 cup fresh basil.  If pasta appears dry add 1/4 cup avocado or extra virgin olive oil OR 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water.  Eat ❤


The best raw pasta salad:

For each person use a spiralizer or julienne peeler to make noodles out of 1 zucchini.  Top with spoonfuls of the sauce until you are happy with the consistency.  Eat ❤

This sauce can also be used as a dip for veggies, as a raw pizza sauce, and as a spread for sandwiches.

The following recipe makes approximately 1 quart.  Multiply or divide as needed.

Fermented Raw Marinara Sauce:

– 3 lbs tomatoes (for me this is about 10 field tomatoes)     DSC_0753

– 2 onions, peeled and halved

– 2 carrots, peeled and halved

 2-4 cloves garlic (depending on how much you love garlic! I use 2)

– 1 T dried italian seasoning

– a couple twists of black pepper

– 2 cups (or more) fresh basil (stems and leaves)

Slice tomatoes in half and use a spoon to scoop out the tomatoes “guts”.  Compost and reserve the tomato shell. Add to your food processor with the onions, carrots, and garlic.  Pulse until finely chopped.  Add the italian seasoning, pepper and fresh basil.  Pulse until finely chopped and combined.

Transfer to a 1-quart mason or fido jar, leaving 1 inch of headspace.  Add:

– 2 T sea salt

Stir well to distribute salt equally throughout sauce.  Pour over the top of the sauce:

– 1/4 inch layer of avocado or extra virgin olive oil

This allows the sauce to stay submerged, reducing the risk air will cause contamination and ruin your ferment.  Once the ferment is complete, stir the oil into the sauce to add richness.

Place the lid on your jar and place your sauce in a cool, dark place.  Start
checking your sauce after 2 days.  If you live in a warm climate the sauce should be ready in 2-3 days.  At this point move it to the fridge.  As the weather is cooling here in BC, this took 5 days for me.  Taste daily.  You will know the sauce is ready when the salt flavour has dissipated and the sauce tastes tangy and is slightly effervescent.  You won’t ruin it by letting it go for too long or too short so don’t stress.  Once you are happy with the flavour, move to the fridge where it will sit happily for many months.

Enjoy ❤ ❤

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6 Responses to Raw Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce (lacto-fermented)

  1. Stephanie says:

    I have really been needing a recipe like this in my life. This looks perfect! Love the simplicity of fermented foods. I absolutely can not wait to try this ASAP! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Lindsey says:

    I’ll be trying this tomorrow – 10x the recipe so I’m trusting that it’s good 🙂 I also have a lot of zucchini. What do you think about adding a couple medium sized ones to a batch?

    • Megatarian says:

      Do it! I think adding a few zucchini would be good. I would be a bit concerned about the water content and probably grate and then squeeze the water out of my zucchini (using cheesecloth or a clean tea towel) before adding to the mix. Let me know how it turns out for you!

  3. SL says:

    Making this today. I love ferm foods. If you are going to use zucchini I’d grate it first, add sea salt (sprinkle) and mix in cover and drain for about 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Salt pulls moisture out of zucchini and other veggies including egg plant etc. Just a thought.

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