Thursday, November 1, 2012

Making a Simple Tomato Sauce from Scratch

Canned tomato sauce or canned tomatoes for a quick and easy weeknight pasta dish is something we are all familiar with.  Whether we use canned tomatoes or not, we know someone who does or we once did (I'm a culprit of both!). In addition to being a simple way to spice up noodles, canned tomatoes or sauce often pops up in a lot of recipes. But what about the BPA liner in the canned tomatoes or canned sauce?  Because tomatoes are acidic, the BPA in cans is more likely to leach into the contents of the can, which is why I think this post is so important.  Making tomato sauce for pasta is really so easy!  Whether you like it chunky or smooth, all you need is about 20 minutes and a few easy to find ingredients.  Below is a recipe I make for chunky tomato sauce that tastes SO MUCH BETTER than the canned or jarred version.  The best part about this recipe is you really can add whatever spices you love, and just taste as you go (reminds me of those Rom Com movie scenes with the wooden spoon, pasta sauce, and the nice touch spooning feeding a taste haha).  Enjoy!

Recipe makes about one cup of tomato sauce.

  • 1 pound vine ripe organic tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and diced...see instructions #1)
  • 1 TBS of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium sized organic yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed and chopped (I had minced on hand so used that)
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of chile flakes if you like spicey (we do!)
  1. Peel, seed, and dice tomatoes (saving juices).  To peel the tomatoes, simply core the tomatoes and plunge them into boiling water until their skins loosen (usually about 15 seconds in water till they are peelable).  Remove tomatoes from water and put them in a bowl of ice cold water to keep them from cooking.  Drain the water and peel. Cut tomatoes in half horizontaly and remove the seeds into a bowl.  Strain the seeds and save the juice!  The juice is important here for a great sauce in my opinion.
  2. Heat up a pot on medium heat.  Once heated, add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Then add onion and saute until cooked thoroughly (onions should be translucent looking).
  3. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  4. Add tomatoes and juices to pot with a pinch of salt.  Stir and reduce heat to a simmer.
  5. Cook at a simmer for 15 minutes.  When you have 5 minutes left, add fresh basil (or any other spice you love! Oregano is good too.)

~ Hannah
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