tasty tuesday {tomato sauce}

I have one big problem with my work from home days, and that is you give me 5 free minutes, I'm going to try to fit in enough stuff to fill up 20. Now I'm a champion relaxer, but for some reason, work from home days have always filled me with the urge to do all the things! I've gotten better about this lately, but I still need to remind myself sometimes that as long as I'm working, I'm having an accomplished day.

Pickings from the garden last Wednesday...
(only showing half the tomatoes!)
Still, when the occasion arises to get something done that I've been wanting to do, in the calm quiet of a house with no husband or child underfoot, I embrace it. So while I talked myself out of doing the other things I was considering (like making these pumpkin donuts... mmm. they can definitely wait for fall.), when the timing was right for some tomato sauce, I jumped on it. See, we don't grow tomatoes in our garden, but that is all my neighbor grows. The deal has always been that anything that grows through the fence is ours. But they had so many tomatoes pop out at the same time this year that he invited us to help ourselves to as many as we wanted, they couldn't hope to eat them all. I'd been waiting for enough to ripen at the same time that I could take all I needed for a pot of sauce, while still leaving more then that for in place, and that finally happened when I worked from home last Wednesday.

I've never made tomato sauce before. I hated tomatoes (and everything made from them other then ketchup) as a child, and its only slowly over the past few years that I've learned to really enjoy tomato sauces (I still prefer white pizza!), soups, and sun-dried tomatoes. But Trav loves tomato sauce, and I really do enjoy the flavor when I don't end up with a big chunk of tomato in my mouth. I figured if I made my own, I could control that easily enough.

I found a recipe on Smitten Kitchen, which looked so simple to try, I couldn't see why not.

Easy Tomato Sauce
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen's recipe)

7 - 9 large tomatoes from your neighbor's garden
healthy drizzle olive oil
Small onion
2 to 3 small cloves of garlic
1 medium carrot
Basil, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper to taste
1 Tbsp sugar (optional) 

Cut an X in the bottom of your tomatoes and place in some boiling water for about 20 seconds. Rinse in cold water, and gently pull the skins right off. Super easy. If they aren't coming off, put back into the boiling water for a few more seconds.

Quarter your tomatoes and squeeze the seeds out over a strainer, reserving the juice. Give them a chop.

Chop your onion, carrot, and garlic. Add the olive oil to your pot and cook veggies (minus tomatoes) over medium heat until soft, pretty, and brown. Add tomatoes, stir, and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat slightly and let them start to cook down. After about 25 minutes add a shake of red pepper flakes, a shake of salt, a shake of pepper, and a 1 tsp each of basil and parsley. I also added about a Tbsp coconut sugar because I hear it can help to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. Stir and continue cooking another 20 or so minutes.

If at any point your sauce seems to be getting too thick, add your reserved juices from seeding the tomatoes (I added most of mine back in). If you prefer a smoother sauce, like I do, go to town with your immersion blender when the sauce is getting close to done. At that point, taste and add more basil, parsley, salt, pepper as desired. I probably used about 2ish tsps of each. Oh, and I threw in a hearty dash of Worcestershire sauce because I was feeling naughty.

This sauce is easy, but rich. The flavor is deep, but still highlights the star of the show, the tomatoes. I love it and Trav did too.

Serve with your favorite pasta (or with pasta and chopped up peppers, like Trav did), then refrigerate leftovers. Or cool and freeze for later. (I froze about 1/2 of mine.)



  1. Classic dish! So easy and simple, too, for that go-to meal that everyone loves! Thanks for posting!

  2. Homemade tomato sauce is the best. I always make my sauce homemade. I usually don't jar it though. Instead I freeze my garden tomatoes whole then I can use them as I go, much easier :-)


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