Has anyone else been totally overwhelmed with all the tv shows coming back this week? What have you watched? How I Met Your Mother – Ahhh, finally we get to know The Mother. What do you guys think of her? I like her, she’s nerdy like Ted. Parenthood – I feel like it’s been 2 years since the last season because all of the little kids are huge now and it freaks me out. I’m going to shut up now because if you let me, I will make an entire post out of me rambling about TV shows.
I’m going to make a confession. I almost never buy bottled tomato sauce. In my opinion, most of them are crap. I’m sorry! I was lucky enough to grow up in a house where the sauce was always homemade so for me, there is not other way to go. One of my biggest issues with bottled sauces is that a lot of them contain way too much sugar and I don’t like sweet sauces. If you have never made your own tomato sauce, I hope this recipe can convert you because although it requires a longer cooking time, it’s so simple and you’ll never go back!
I wasn’t sure what to call this tomato sauce, I mean, like aside from just calling it tomato sauce. This sauce is not totally homemade, you won’t be cooking down whole tomatoes, but it’s not just poured out from a jar either. We’re gonna call it semi-homemade, how’s that? That’s why I like it, it’s the best of both worlds. You can leave it vegetarian or you can add in some meatballs and sausage for extra flavor.
- 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 28-ounce can tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large green bell pepper, seeded quartered
- 1 white onion, peeled and chopped into large pieces
- 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2-3 fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup red wine (I usually use a cab or merlot)
- 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus extra for seasoning sauce while it cooks to your taste.
- 1 tablespoon sugar (you can add more if desired)
- Heat a large sauce pot over medium high heat. Cut the pepper and onion into large pieces that can easily be scooped out once the sauce is cooked. Once pan is heated, add in olive oil, peppers, garlic cloves, and onion. Cook the veggies for approximately 3-5 minutes or until edges turn brown.
- Lower heat to low. Add in tomato sauce and puree. Fill one of the empty cans with water and add to pot. Add in paste, salt and pepper, bay leaves, basil leaves, and red wine. Stir to mix in all of the ingredients and then simmer on low heat for at least 4 hours (I typically do about 6). About halfway through, stir in the sugar to neutralize the acidity.
- Once sauce is done cooking, use a slotted to scoop out pepper, onion, bay and basil leaves, and garlic cloves. If you plan to add meat, I recommend adding it after scooping out the veggies.
You should stir your sauce once every 30-40 minutes or so. Every time I go to stir, I will also taste a bit of the sauce and I always end up adding additional salt and pepper, and sometimes a little more wine. Making a good tomato sauce is a process!
I always have a lot of sauce left over so I end up freezing it in different size containers. I will use some larger ones that have enough for additional meals, but then I also use small sauce/salad dressing containers because they give me the perfect amount of sauce for homemade pizzas! Make sure you cool the sauce to room temperature before freezing. To re-heat sauce, remove from container and simmer on low heat.
In terms of the serving size of this recipe, I would say it makes enough for about 6-8 people, but it really depends on what you are going to use it on. Different dishes and pastas require a different amount of sauce. If you are a family of 2 to 4 people, this will be plenty for probably 2 dinners.
For the original tomato sauce recipe, click here.