Liz's Blog for a Healthier, Happier Life

Jean’s Tomato Sauce

Today’s recipe comes from fellow dietitian, Jean LaMantia. She is a cancer survivor and the author of “The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide & Cookbook (published by Robert Rose). This book is great resource for cancer patients and their caregivers. It has solid nutrition advice and great recipes too. I asked Jean to share with me one of the recipes she uses most often in her own home. This is it. It’s a fast, easy, totally delicious tomato sauce. Try it the next time you’re in the mood for pasta.  You’ll be glad you did.

Makes about 3 ½ cups (875 mL)


1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes, with juice
1½ tbsp (22 mL) basil pesto


1.  In a deep saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic to taste and onion and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes until softened.
2.  Add tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in pesto and simmer, stirring often, for about 5 minutes to blend the flavours.
3.  If desired purée the sauce with an immersion (hand-held) blender for a finer texture.

Tip: Let the minced garlic stand for 10 minutes before cooking to maximize its cancer-fighting properties.

Nutrition Information per serving (1/4 cup/60 mL): 32 calories, 2 g fat, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g fibre, 1 g protein, 159 mg sodium

P.S.  Jean’s website is



I’m a registered dietitian with a passion for peanut butter sandwiches and an undying love for chocolate. I’ve been researching, writing, and speaking about eating for optimal health for over 25 years. I have two wonderful daughters, love hiking year-round, and playing hockey in the winter. Perhaps, most importantly, I never let a good dance song go to waste!

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