April 22, 2013

Sauce from Scratch

45763454bBack in our pre baby days, The Man and I would usually make our tomato sauce from scratch.  From scratch I mean opening up cans of diced tomatoes, tomato paste and seasonings.  It worked well for us.  Once the baby arrived, that took just a little too long so we switched to the canned stuff.  We did the canned over the jarred because we usually add stuff to it anyway and it is cheaper.  Then one day I looked at the ingredients.  I’m sure why there needs to be high fructose corn syrup in my tomato sauce, but there it is.  There’s a lot of other things in there too that I’m not sure about.

So I thought it would be nice to go back to the making from scratch sauce, except for it to be a little bit more from scratch.  Enter in the 25 lbs of Roma tomatoes I was able to buy from Bountiful Baskets

The acidity of tomato sauce can make it hard to can so I decided to freeze it instead.  We have an upright freezer that’s just perfect for this!  My goal was not to make a complete, table ready sauce.  I wanted to make a base that I could customize for whatever meal I was making.  We like this one because it coats the pasta well.  It’s not thick but I make it chunky by what I add to it later on.

Poekitten’s Homemade Tomato Sauce





Italian Seasoning

Olive Oil


Peppers/mushrooms (optional)


1. Wash the tomatoes.  31181532bI soaked them in a sink full of water with some vinegar added to it.  I let them sit for about 30 minutes but only because I got busy doing other things.

2. Quarter the tomatoes.  I use my Pampered Chef Vegetable Wedger so this step is super quick and easy.

2.5 Cut a few tomatoes in half and toss them with olive oil and a little salt in a bowl.  Lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake them for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees.  I like to think it adds flavor but I’m not really sure.


3.  Fill a pot about 1/4 to 1/2 full over medium heat.  Stir it a few times as they cook down.  (I don’t stand there as I’m usually still cutting the rest of the tomatoes.)


4.  Once there’s a lot of “water” (you know, the tomato-y liquid that occurs when you cook them), add more tomatoes.  I’ll usually fill it about half way again.  Stir to mix them up and let them continue to cook over medium heat.

5.  Once I’m done cutting up the tomatoes, I’ll coarsely chop half and onion and add it.  I’ll also deskin a half a head of garlic. I’ll chop the cloves in half 85302783band I’ll add them in.  Sometimes I’ll add a pepper if I have one or a few mushrooms. 

6. Oh yeah, those tomatoes that were roasting in the oven? Add them in when they’re done, along with any juice that is in the pan.

7 Once the tomatoes cook down, Keep adding more until the pot is full.  Once I’ve added what I think will be the last batch of tomatoes, I add a tablespoon of Italian Seasoning. If that sounds like a lot to you, add less and taste it.  Keep adding until it tastes good to you.

8.  When it looks like all the tomatoes have cooked down, I turn the heat off and let it cool.  You can go on to the next step right away. I wait about 20-30 minutes because if I don’t, I tend to burn myself.


9.  Using a food processor or a food mill, run the sauce through in batches, as this breaks up the skin.  The sauce will be thin and could be eaten as a soup.  If it’s not tomato-y enough for your taste, you can add some tomato paste.  I store them in mason jars in the freezer until I’m ready to use it.


I tend to add some kind of meat the sauce, either ground beef, ground turkey or sausage.  I’ll also add onion, garlic, more seasonings and sometimes pepper and/or mushroom if we have them.  I’ve been known to finely grate carrot and mix that in as well.  Tomatoes hide other vegetables beautifully so it’s a great way to sneak some past picky kids or husbands.

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