Whole Tomato Pasta Sauce
This recipe was born out of necessity many years ago. The girls were young, our lives were so busy, but we wanted to eat delicious homemade food. Making our own pasta sauce with all our beautiful tomatoes was a no-brainer. But, all the time needed to skin, seed and cook down the tomatoes was just not going to happen. We needed good food on the table quickly. We grabbed our trusty stick blender and the rest is history.
This is a quick and easy method for using whole tomatoes to make a basic homemade red sauce. This recipe will work with any slicing tomatoes and you don’t have to use paste tomatoes. You can also use this recipe for pizza sauce. We typically make this on demand from our canned or frozen tomatoes but you can certainly freeze this for later use. You can also start with fresh tomatoes.
Tomatoes – canned, frozen or fresh slicing tomatoes, cored and quartered, about 2 quarts
1 jar Tomato Paste – We prefer Bio-Naturae organic tomato paste, prevents sauce from being watery
Organic sweetener of your choice
Homemade basil pesto or fresh basil chopped
Fresh Garlic – if you using homemade pesto, you can omit the extra garlic, or not
If using fresh tomatoes, stew in stock pot until heated through and broken down. If using canned or frozen, cook until heated through.
Using a stick blender (much easier than a standing blender), whirl up the tomatoes right in the pan until skins are not recognizable. We use a stainless steel stick blender safe to immerse in hot food.
Add one jar of tomato paste. Don’t skip or your sauce will be watery. One jar of tomato paste will usually thicken about 8 cups chopped, stewed, whirled up tomatoes. You can always add a half or whole jar for a thicker sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Start slowly so you don’t over salt. Do the same with the sweetener if you feel a sweetener is necessary. We usually add some sweetener especially if we are using some for pizza sauce.
Add a swirl of good EVOO and a good dollop of homemade pesto. If not using pesto, add freshly chopped basil and finely diced or smashed garlic – at least 2 decent sized cloves. The finer you dice the garlic, the more garlic flavor in your sauce. Smashing in a mortar and pestle is the best.
Heat gently so you don’t scorch and taste. Adjust seasonings. Use this as the base for your pasta or pizza sauce (add more tomato paste for pizza sauce).
If you have more time, adding sausage and vegetables will add a lot of flavor….
Saute a pound of BBF bulk Italian Sausage. Remove from skillet and add a diced onion, carrot and celery. Add a swirl of olive oil if more fat is needed. Sauté until vegetables are tender. Ladle prepared sauce into skillet to deglaze and capture all the good flavor. Add sausage back to pan, heat through and taste for seasoning.