Wellness in the Schools: Tomato Lab

Each season, Wellness in the Schools organizes cooking labs to teach kids about the nutritional value of a seasonal vegetable and present an easy way to cook with it. Last week I helped out with the tail end of the tomato labs, which just happens to be occurring at the tail end of tomato season. That said, it is still possible to find some late-ripening specimens from many farms in NJ and PA that have not had as intense frosts and upstate NY. Don’t hesitate! Now is the perfect time to snatch the last ripe specimens from the market and make a large batch of simple tomato sauce. Enjoy it as the kids did, simply tossed with pasta or to top a parmigiana and stash some away in the freezer for a dull winter’s night. The recipe is in the background of myself and Chef Victoria and our tomato buddies πŸ˜‰

Teacher speaking to students about tomato sauce.


Meghan and WITS instructor holding tomatoes in front of written tomato sauce recipe.



Students eating tomato sauce.


Simple Tomato Sauce

  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 15 medium tomatoes, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil for garnish
  • 3 cups prepared whole wheat pasta, if desired
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot on medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes to the pot. Bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Use an immersion blender in the sauce until desired consistency is reached.
  5. Garnish with basil.
  6. Serve over prepared pasta, if desired.