We had a bumper crop of tomatoes in our garden this year, which is a good thing since the last 2 years haven’t been that great. For the last 4 years I have been making tomato sauce for our freezer so that I don’t have to buy any. It is perfect for spaghetti and pizza sauce! Oh, and chili and tomato soup. The goal is to make it one whole year until next summer’s crop comes in. (When I pick tomatoes at the greenhouse in the spring, I always look for “beefy” tomatoes–ones with a lot of “meat.” Then I always have great intentions of labeling and recording which varieties I like the best…ummm…hasn’t happened yet.) Here is how I make tomato sauce…it may not be the right way, but it is easy and works for us!
*This is a rustic recipe! Things don’t have to be perfect or pretty while you make it.
You have to remove the skins on the tomatoes, so get a big pot of water on to boil. Once boiling, fill it with tomatoes and wait like 30 seconds to a minute until you see the skins split. Take the tomatoes and put them under cold water. The skins will come off with little help at this point. (You can see I even use Cherry Tomatoes! Why not? The more the merrier.)
Chop your tomatoes up roughly. Doesn’t have to be pretty and they don’t have to be that small since they will break down as you cook them.
I set my rough chopped tomatoes in a colander over a bowl at this point to help some of the liquid drain off.
In another large pot, put a healthy drizzle of olive oil in the bottom over medium heat. Chop an onion up and throw it in. A whole onion may look like a lot, but remember that they cook down as well. Let your onions get tender. Mince up some garlic. I put 4 large cloves in a big pot. Throw your garlic in with your onions just before you add your tomatoes. Garlic only needs about 30 seconds in the pot before you add tomatoes. You just want to cook it until you start to smell it, otherwise it might burn.
Dump in your chopped and drained tomatoes.
Add your seasonings. I add dried oregano and basil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Don’t be skimpy! Be creative and add whatever you think would be good. Fresh herbs work as well.
Give your pot a stir and let it simmer away. You don’t want to cover it because you want a lot of the liquid to evaporate off. I usually leave mine simmering for at least a couple hours.
After it simmers I give it a taste and adjust my seasonings. I also add a bit of brown sugar at this point. A hint of sweet!
Throw your cooled sauce into jars and pop into the freezer. That easy!
When I go to use it, I just reheat the amount I want on the stove top. I also add a couple Tablespoons of tomato paste (bought from the store) to thicken it a bit. You can also adjust your seasonings again at this point depending on what you are making.
It is sooo worth it to make your own sauce. Tastes WAY better and will save you some green!