Recipe Exchange: Fresh tomato sauce from La Fiamma adds to any dish


La Fiamma, Bellingham, tomato sauce

La Fiamma's fresh tomato sauce is served hot with meatballs at the Bellingham restaurant.


Owner Ken Bothman shares La Fiamma Wood Fire Pizza's recipe for fresh tomato sauce this week. La Fiamma is one of more than 50 Whatcom County restaurants participating in the Opportunity Council's 14th annual Dine Out for Maple Alley Inn on May 6. You eat and the restaurants donate a percentage of sales to the program that provides hot, nutritious meals for anyone who is hungry.

"I love this sauce because it's fresh, sweet and rich. It keeps well in the fridge for several days. It's so simple, but the flavors are amazing. Try it on pasta, over roasted meats, or over eggplant or chicken parmesan," Bothman says.

Finding beautiful fresh tomatoes is the hardest part of preparing this sauce. "Go ahead and use fresh pack Roma tomatoes that are canned, like the imported San Marzano," he says.



1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup small-diced onion

1 tablespoon thinly slivered garlic


32 ounces plum tomatoes (may be canned)

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon torn or chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon medium-grind black pepper


In a sauté pan sweat the onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil until translucent. Cook lightly, just to soften flavors. Remove the vegetables from the heat and mix them with the remaining ingredients in a bowl. To crush the tomatoes, simply squeeze with your hand and let them press out between your fingers. (It's fun, but be careful, they can squrit!)

Serve hot or cold.


Six to eight.


Dine Out for Maple Alley Inn is May 6 at more than 50 Whatcom County restaurants. Patrons eat breakfast, lunch or dinner and the restaurants give a portion of sales to the charity that provides meals to people who are homeless, mentally ill, working poor, aging, disabled veterans and families with children.

The Opportunity Council also accepts individual donations for Maple Alley Inn. Mail checks payable to Opportunity Council Maple Alley Inn to 1111 Cornwall Ave., Suite C, Bellingham, Wash., 98225.

For more information on Dine Out or participating restaurants, call 360-734-5121, ext. 233, or go online to


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