Friday, 5 September 2014

Homemade Tomato Sauce

homemade tomato sauce
Homemade Tomato Sauce

This basic tomato sauce can be used as a base in many loved pasta dishes, like Arrabiata and Bolognese. 

A few posts ago, more precisely on the Mushroom Stuffed Eggplant post, I promised I would share with you how to make a delicious homemade pasta tossed with a yummy - also homemade - tomato sauce. I've already delivered on the pasta, with my Homemade Semolina Pasta recipe and right now I'll tell you how a very delicious red sauce is made, one that may be used as a foundation on many other famous dishes. 
The most important ingredient of this dish is, obviously, the tomatoes. If it's their season and you can find ripe Roma tomatoes, please use them! If not, then it's better to use whole canned tomatoes. There is no shame in using canned tomatoes, they've been picked when they were the ripest and canned to preserve their properties. If you use fresh tomatoes in the middle of the winter, chances are they were picked green and matured on their way to you which might result in a slightly less flavorful product. 
I mentioned Roma because it is the most popular tomato used to make sauce. However, I've heard of a few other varieties that make equally delicious sauces. If you are purchasing from a local farmer ask them which ones can be for used this purpose. Who knows, maybe you'll find a tomato that you will like more than the Roma. If you do, please share ;)

homemade tomato sauce
Homemade Tomato Sauce

Preparation time: 1hr
Yield: Enough to toss with 500g of cooked pasta
Level: Easy

  • 1kg of Roma tomatoes (cut in quarters)
  • 1 cup Chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup Diced carrots
  • 1 Celery stalk (chopped or cut in chunks)
  • 1 Chopped clove of garlic
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 tsp finely chopped Parsley stalk
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
In a deep pan, heat the olive oil to medium. Add chopped onion, carrot and celery. Saute them until the onion has softened and appears translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.

Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and chopped parsley stalk. Cover the pan and let it cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

You'll know when everything has transformed into a sauce. :) When that happens you have a few options on how to proceed:

1) You are welcome to season your sauce with salt and pepper and toss in your pasta OR use it in any other tomato sauce recipe you wish. 

2) You can strain it to get a silkier sauce. As in the previous method, you can season to taste and toss in the pasta OR use it in another dish. 

3) You can remove the celery chunks (hence the option for celery chunks) and bay leaf and with a hand mixer, blend everything together. You can then toss in the pasta or use it as a base in any other dish you're preparing. 

My favorite method is the third one. Many say that the onion and carrots have long lost all their flavor to the liquids, but I personally find that when I blend everything the sauce tastes a bit sweeter - which for my taste is a plus. 

The dish you see on this post was made with the third (blended) method. 

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  1. This looks really good!
    I love making tomato sauce at home and this one looks quite easy and really tasty!
    Thanks :-)

  2. This looks so yummy and thanks for not making me feel guilty for using canned tomatoes.
    I have never used a bay leaf in tomato sauce before and I want to try it.

    1. Thanks Julie! I really like the flavor the bay leaf offers to the sauce, plus this recipe is a "red" canvas, you play with it however you like :)

  3. Wow! This sounds so good! Thank you for sharing! I'm going to try this one out this weekend!

    1. Thank you for coming by! :) Let me know how it turns out!