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Feed Your Face: Skin-Friendly Pasta Sauce Recipe

By Dr Jessica Wu

I hope you had a great holiday weekend!

Now that summer is in full swing, we all know the importance of protecting ourselves (and our families) from sunburns. Many of you know that I’m a huge fan of tomatoes (especially cooked tomatoes), which studies have shown can help reduce sunburn and sun damage. While it may seem more convenient to open a jar of prepared sauce, some brands are high in sugar and/or high-fructose corn syrup, which can aggravate breakouts and rashes (and attack your skin’s collagen). Instead, try making your own sauce. My patient Donna, who’s 100 percent Italian, shared with me the recipe for her Aunt Flora Dell’Elce’s delicious, easy-to-make, low-sugar tomato sauce. (By the way, Aunt Flo, who’s in her eighties, has beautiful skin!)

Aunt Flo’s Tomato Sauce

Brown 2-4 pork chops in a pan and add one can each of tomato puree (28 ounces) and tomato paste (6 ounces). (Aunt Flo prefers Contadina tomato paste.)

Add the following seasonings:

1/2 tsp dried sweet basil
1 tsp salt -- don’t double
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp dried parsley
3 tbsp onion salt
1/4 tsp garlic salt
Pinch of sugar


Simmer for a couple of hours, stirring frequently, on very low heat so the sauce won’t stick to the bottom of the pan. The sauce will keep in the fridge for a week, or you can double the recipe (and use three cans of tomato paste) and freeze half.

I recommend serving this sauce with meatballs and/or over whole-wheat pasta, which can help keep your blood sugar stable.

For more advice on eating for sun protection, check out Chapter 7 of Feed Your Face.


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