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Monday, October 4, 2010

Basic tomato sauce recipe

Roma tomatoes harvested from my garden

It's a bit late to post this recipe since most gardeners already harvested tomatoes during spring and summer. I mentioned in my last post I'll be sharing so here it is! My tomatoes ripened late but my garden suddenly produced giving me a chance to make fresh organic sauce. Many of you already have a recipe but for those who have never tried making Tomato sauce, this is a very simple and basic recipe that can be kept in the freezer or canned until ready to use. You can add any herbs or vegetables you prefer later. I made it basic so I can vary the flavors depending on the dish. 

I have a tomato press made in Italy from Williams-Sonoma, thank God. I previously had this listed on our wedding registry a year ago but I didn't receive it. A couple months ago I told my husband how much I thought it would help with making sauce more efficiently. I read reviews and decided it was a must for the kitchen. I was right because I saw youtube videos of how people are peeling off tomato skins, scooping out seeds, and straining the sauce making it more of a chore. You can certainly do it the old fashioned way but I feel it has saved time having a useful gadget.  

The only disadvantage about the product is they should have built it a little taller so I can fit a larger bowl underneath to press more tomato sauce. However, you can transfer the sauce in a larger container and start again with a new batch. Other than that, I love it. We bought the tomato press for half the price because when hubby and I went on a road trip to Idaho, we drove by a Williams-Sonoma outlet at Primm, Nevada on the way home. Lucky us for a bargain!

Basic tomato sauce recipe (with the help of my tomato press) 

Step 1 
Rinse the tomatoes and drain. With a utility knife, score an x on the tomatoes (see very first photo above), this makes peeling easier whether you do it by hand or with a tomato press. 

Step 2 
In a pot of boiling water seasoned with sea salt, add tomatoes for no more than a minute, about 30-45 seconds to loosen the skins.    

Step 3
Plunge the tomatoes in cold water, drain well, and go to step 4

Note: If you don't have a tomato press or food mill, begin peeling the skin by hand, cut tomatoes in half, and spoon the seeds out. Next, you have to use a cone sieve or strainer mesh to press the sauce. If you have a tomato press you can skip the whole process of cutting and removing the seeds by hand. Some people leave the skin and seeds on the sauce, that's your choice.  

Hubby helping out for a few minutes, he wanted to play with the gadget!

Step 4
I didn't have to cut my tomatoes, they were small enough for the tomato press. When you use a press, seeds and skin gets removed easily. I had fun making the tomato sauce and it was easy. I ran the skin with seeds on the press twice squeezing more sauce out of it.
Look at all that garden goodness, fresh healthy sauce! 

Step 5
Prepare a pan over low heat with 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Chop 1/2 a medium onion and set aside. Mince 2 cloves of garlic and fry until light brown but don't burn. Add onions in the pan and sauté until translucent and fragrant. Add tomato sauce, season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.      

Note: At this point, you can combine fresh herbs such as oregano, thyme, or parsley, bell peppers, and celery. carrots (or a little sugar) will sweeten the sauce. You can also add red wine for flavor. In addition, you can toss cooked meat to your sauce for spaghetti or make sauce for chicken Parmesan. If you're going for the basic tomato sauce only add garlic, onions, sea salt, and pepper. Bring sauce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally for about 45 minutes to an hour or until thick. Soon you will have flavorful homemade tomato sauce.
16 ounces of organic tomato sauce

There are more roma tomatoes in the garden, perhaps we'll make salsa later. For now, I made a total of 48 ounces basic tomato sauce and I used freezer jars by 
Ball ® to store until ready to use. Since I don't own a canner (it's on my Christmas wish list) this is the easiest way of having tomato sauce on hand.  

Here's a quick recipe for basil with oregano and Parmesan cheese sauce over penne or any pasta. Go back to step 5, prepare the basic sauce. Add 1 tbsp fresh oregano, 2-3 leaves fresh Italian large leaf basil, 1/4 tsp dried parsley, 1/4 tsp onion powder, and 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese. Let sauce simmer and toss over cooked pasta. Bon Appétit :) 

Have a great week to all!       


  1. So much work, I bet it is worth it though when you taste it!
    I can't get over how cute that package was you send out. Thanks, again.

  2. I do believe you should open a restaurant, without a doubt it would be a great success, take care, Gina

  3. Hi Priscilla, wow you have the tomato press. I have not seen this gadget over here. Made tomato sauce once myself, it was really hard work! I had to press it manually through the sieve and I think by end of it, my arms have develop a muscle! But nothing beats homemade tomato sauce. Would love to do it again, but once bitten, twice shy! Any idea whether can it be done in a juicer?

  4. Hi Priscilla, Your tomato sauce looks yummy and healthy! You are good at what you do.

  5. That is a cool gadget. I still use my old press that belonged to my mother. You should try roasting the tomatoes too, it adds a wonderful flavor and you can add some garlic to the pan when roasting.

    I bet that sauce was yummy!

  6. I wish I had taken the time to make some sauce with my tomatoes, but they mostly didn't even make it indoors after ripening. Maybe next year I'll plan to do more with them than eat them all on the porch where they're growing.

  7. Gina: Thanks for the sweet encouragement, I love to cook but only for fun!

    Joyce: Tomato sauce takes time but it really helps with the press, I'm so happy my husband bought it. I've never used a juicer before but I believe you might be able to make Tomato juice out of it. I think the juicer will make the sauce too thin, better to use a strainer mesh and press it yourself.

    One: Thank you very much, I appreciate the comment. I do my best...I love being in the garden and kitchen!

    Carla: Your recipe looks yummy! I saw it from your previous post. I'll have to try your recipe one day, thanks. The gadget is great and really helps make Tomato sauce more efficiently. Yes the sauce was wonderful with Basil and Oregano from the garden.

    MrBrownThumb: It's certainly rewarding to plant Tomatoes from seed, especially after all that waiting then you get to harvest them fresh! I love Tomatoes whether raw, for salsa, and making pasta sauce.

  8. I just stumbled upon your site. So nice of you to share seeds with Rosey. The tomato sauce looks yummy. Hope you visit my site and consider becoming a follower, too.

  9. That's awesome and looks magnificent!

  10. What a great post, Priscilla. I enjoyed your sequence of steps to take to prepare this. Not that I'm going to do it myself---but, thank you for sharing in case I decide to venture out of my normal routine!!

  11. Yum! That tomato press looks super-cool - even better that you got it on sale!


I'm glad you stopped by. I love reading your comments and thank you for taking the time. Have a wonderful day! :-)

♥ Priscilla