Fresh Tomato Sauce

Fresh Tomato Sauce

My pantry is never without canned tomatoes. Whole, diced or crushed, they are a constant staple.

Canned tomatoes are the base for so many soups, like Tuscan ribollita and roasted tomato. They are also handy for three-bean chili.

A few years ago I spent an entire weekend canning 20 pounds of Roma tomatoes from the farmer’s market.

With tomato season in its last weeks, I was doing everything I could to hold on to summer.

It was quite an undertaking peeling, deseeding, crushing and canning over a hot stove during a muggy September.

Fresh Tomato Sauce

All that work seemed worth it when I first popped open a homemade jar of tomatoes on a frigid winter evening in January.

Since I can’t add more hours to the day or days to the week, having a stash of homemade canned tomatoes is just not realistic. With baby, blog and everything else, I can’t devote an entire weekend to canning.

Also, there is nothing wrong with store-bought canned tomatoes. They are full of flavor and incredibly versatile in all sorts of dishes.

I had this realization that I rarely make actual tomato sauce during tomato season. Tomatoes are either left raw in salads like a Caprese, or I slow-roast them.

It was time to change that, so I whipped up a batch of fresh tomato sauce using 2 pounds of ripe red Roma tomatoes.

Fresh Tomato Sauce

I started by scoring an X into the bottoms of the tomatoes and then putting them into boiling water for a minute. That made removing the skin easy.

I halved the tomatoes and scooped out the seeds. Then I roughly chopped the tomatoes.

Over medium high heat, I sautéed the tomatoes with olive oil, minced garlic and onions. The tomatoes fell apart. I used a potato masher to crush them into a barely chunky sauce. 

Fresh tomato sauce is lighter in color and more delicate in flavor than one made from canned tomatoes. 

It will work with any pasta shape. 

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Fresh Tomato Sauce

Fresh Tomato Sauce
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
Scale

Ingredients

2 pounds Roma tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small white onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Score an X into the bottom end of each tomato. Boil the tomatoes for 1 minute and then transfer to a bowl of ice-cold water. Peel the tomatoes and halve them. Scoop out the seeds and  roughly chop them.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the onions until they start to soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Simmer the tomatoes for 20 minutes. Use the back of a wooden spoon or potato masher to smash the tomatoes.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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