Something a lot of families eat a lot is pasta with tomato sauce. And despite the difference in cost, most people prefer to buy the sauce in glass jars, rather than the aluminum cans (there’s just something about the tomatoes and aluminum flavour combination which doesn’t go over well on my pasta!). A couple of weeks ago, we were introduced to a real treat. Homemade tomato sauce. Now, you may say “DUH!”. And I probably had told myself this a few times this week as I recalled my nannying trip to Italy where we ate rabbit stew in….yes, homemade tomato sauce (OF COURSE!). But because of a lack of time and just plain not knowing where to start, I never considered making my own tomato sauce! This experience at our friends’ completely changed my mind. The very first thing (the kids actually) noticed about the sauce is that it’s a nice orange, not red colour. They called it “carrot sauce” and were pretty adamant against eating it because of its colour. But once they tried it, they were SOLD! Cost-wise, this is NOT a cheap way to have tomato sauce. I didn’t do the breakdown, but it’s definitely more expensive than Classico jarred tomato sauce (which has no added sugar or chemicals, but is high on sodium). So unless you get a super good deal on busheled tomatoes or grow your own (which we aren’t doing this year, boo!), I would probably make this a once in a while treat. HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE Non-negotiables 8-10 tomatoes (I used hot house, roma is also a good option) 4 cloves garlic, pressed or smashed salt olive oil Additional Optional Ingredients 1 onion, chopped 2 carrots, chopped basil bay leaf
Homemade Tomato Sauce
In boiling water, drop the tomatoes and blanche until the skin starts to peel, about 1 minute.
Remove the tomatoes and run cold water over top, or place them in a bowl of cold/iced water to stop the cooking process.
When they are cooled, peel the skins off the tomatoes and set aside.
Core the tomatoes and remove the seeds in a colander over a bowl, saving the juice.
This step is totally optional – some people prefer to have the seeds in the sauce (it adds to the “authenticity” of the sauce), so you can decide.
Chop and place into a food processor or blender.
Blend until smooth.
In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil and 1-2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add in chopped onions, carrots and garlic. BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN THE GARLIC or it will take over the flavour of the sauce! Stir cook until the onions and carrots are soft, about 5 minutes.
Add in tomatoes and juice, stir and bring to a boil. Add in basil leaves and bay leaf.
You can really just play around with any ingredients you would like to add to your sauce.
Cover and let simmer for 2 hours or longer. Cook pasta , serve with sauce and enjoy!