|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 10g||13%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||7%|
|Total Carbohydrate 20g||7%|
|Dietary Fiber 6g||21%|
|Total Sugars 13g|
|Vitamin C 63mg||316%|
|*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.|
Having good-quality tomato sauce at hand is a great way to top off a home-cooked dinner. Many pasta dishes, casseroles, and other recipes require tomato sauce or fresh tomatoes. Using homemade tomato sauce for such dishes reduces the prep and cooking time without sacrificing the flavor. Whether you can or freeze the sauce, it's an easy way to preserve the season's tomato harvest for use throughout the year.
Choose any tomato to make this recipe. Paste tomatoes are preferred because they contain less water and fewer seeds. Roma, San Marzano, Amish, Opalka, and Polish Linguisa tomatoes are amazing for tomato sauce. Larger tomatoes like Jersey tomatoes (Jersey Giant and Jersey Devil) are good as well. No matter the tomato variety you choose, be sure they're ripe, firm, unblemished, and vibrant in color.
The recipe yields 1 quart, but you can double or triple it to make bigger batches.
The recipes that this sauce can be used in are endless—spaghetti, lasagna, chicken Parmesan, or whatever your favorite dishes may be. Some crusty homemade bread and a tossed salad would complete the meal.
5 to 6 pounds ripe tomatoes, washed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers, optional
1/4 cup grated peeled carrots, optional
1 teaspoon sugar, or baking soda, optional
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Dried rosemary, to taste, optional
Dried tarragon, to taste, optional
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid), for canning, optional
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of cold water with ice.
Using a paring knife, make an X-shaped superficial cut at the bottom of each tomato.
Plunge tomatoes into boiling water for 2 minutes to loosen skin. Place tomatoes into cold water bath to stop cooking process.
Place blanched tomatoes in a colander to drain. Let cool off at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes.
When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove skins by pulling skin from X mark at bottom. Use a knife to help the process.
Core tomatoes and remove any undesired pieces. Slice each tomato in half. Scoop out seeds to the best of your ability. A few pieces of skin or seeds won't affect the result.
In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. If using optional red bell peppers and carrots, add when onion is translucent; cook everything for an extra 5 minutes.
Once vegetable mixture is soft, add tomatoes, sugar (or baking soda) if using, basil, oregano, rosemary (optional), tarragon (optional), salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring everything to a boil.
Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, and scraping sides until sauce reaches desired consistency, about 2 to 3 hours. If your raw tomatoes are juicy, the process can take longer.
How to Freeze or Can the Sauce
Freeze the Sauce
- Let the sauce cool completely, then pour into freezer containers, bags, or jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace to allow for expansion. To make using it easier, divide the sauce into the average serving size you'll need for recipes, such as 1 or 2 cups per container. Date and label the containers and place them in the freezer.
Can the Sauce
If you're canning the sauce, mix in the lemon juice (or citric acid) before transferring it to the jars. By changing the pH of the sauce, you are preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Turn on the canning kettle and sterilize the jars.
- While it's still hot, pour the sauce into the jars using a clean spatula or a plastic funnel, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of the jar.
- Screw on the lids and place the jars in a canning rack. Add enough water to cover the jars by 1 inch. Process the jars in boiling water for 35 to 40 minutes, keeping an eye on the water level and adding more if needed.
- Remove the jars from the canning kettle and let cool at room temperature. Label them with the date and store in a dark and cool place.
- Use freezer jars if you want to freeze your sauce or canning jars if you'd like to can your sauce for shelf-stable storage.
- Canned or frozen tomato sauce will keep for up to a year.
- Once opened, refrigerate the jar, and use the sauce within five days.