|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 2g||2%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||1%|
|Total Carbohydrate 12g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||9%|
|Total Sugars 7g|
|Vitamin C 18mg||88%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
When you have an abundance of ripe, juicy tomatoes, making big batches of tomato sauce is a great way of using those sweet and delicious summer tomatoes. Our recipe for a simple and fresh tomato sauce is made with basic ingredients. With aromatics, tomatoes, herbs, and just a dash of sugar to counterbalance the acidity that exudes from cooking tomatoes, our sauce highlights the fruit and makes for a delicious sauce. By making tomato sauce at home, you are saving money but also keeping at bay unwanted ingredients like additives or antibiotics that store-bought sauces might include to extend the shelf life. Here you can control what goes in the sauce and adjust it to your taste—a little bit of chile flakes, more garlic, or perhaps different herbs.
Tomato sauce is a versatile ingredient to have at hand. Although most commonly used on pasta and ravioli, or to make lasagna, tomato sauce can be used as the base for cooking meatballs and goulash. Use it on top of chicken or veal for a Parmesan, or serve it as a side sauce to baked potatoes or roasted vegetables. The possibilities are endless, and a tasty tomato sauce can be your kitchen ally.
For our recipe, the tomatoes need to be peeled before being chopped. The finished sauce has a few tomato chunks, but if you prefer a smoother sauce, you can either begin with finely chopped tomatoes or, when done cooking, carefully puree the sauce in a blender or food processor or with the help of an immersion blender.
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until tender.
Lower the heat to medium, add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn't brown.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt, sugar, and bay leaf, stir well, and bring to a simmer.
Lower the heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. To avoid splatters, place the lid slightly askew.
Discard the bay leaf and use it right away, or chill at room temperature and place in the refrigerator. Use it within three to four days.
Can I Freeze Tomato Sauce?
Freezing fresh tomato sauce is a great way of having pasta sauce handy at any time. To freeze:
- Bring the sauce to room temperature after it's done cooking and place it in resealable bags.
- Freeze horizontally for 2 to 3 hours.
- Once the liquid has solidified, place it vertically in your freezer to save space.
The sauce can be slowly heated up in a pot from frozen, or simply placed in the microwave, covered, for 2 to 4 minutes depending on the potency of your appliance. Tomato sauce is best when consumed within three months of freezing.
How to Peel Tomatoes
Removing the peel from tomatoes makes for a smoother sauce. To easily peel tomatoes:
- Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil.
- Prepare a bowl with cold water and plenty of ice—you'll place the blanched tomatoes here.
- Thoroughly wash your tomatoes.
- Remove the core from the top of the tomatoes and cut a shallow "X" at the bottom of each tomato with a very sharp knife.
- Carefully blanch the tomatoes for 20 to 30 seconds in the boiling water and immediately remove and place in the prepared ice bath.
- Once all of the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board.
- Peel away the skins using either your fingers or a paring knife.
Alternatively, add a generous drizzle of olive oil to halved tomatoes and roast them at 400 F for 35 to 40 minutes. The skins will come off very easily, and roasting will impart an earthy flavor into your sauce.