Can I tell you a secret?
I don’t like tomatoes. But I really wish I did.
I long to love a toasted tomato sandwich on homemade bread with a vine-ripened, garden-fresh tomato. For some crazy reason, uncooked tomatoes taste like dirt to me.
If you’ve been following the Shifting Roots blog for a while, you’re probably thinking but Kristen, you grow an awful lot of tomatoes! What’s up?
The answer? I need them for making the best pasta sauce ever. Because this family goes through a crazy amount of pasta sauce and it needs to be good for freezing!
If you just want the recipe, feel free to scroll to the bottom of this post. If you want a little story with your sauce, read on!
Tomato Sauce for Serious Tomato Lovers
Way back in September 2016 I made batches upon batches of tomato sauce. I didn’t have tons of time, so every morning I would throw tomatoes and whatever other vegetables I thought would taste good into the slow cooker. Every night I blended it up and either canned it or stored it in the freezer. I had a wheelbarrow full of tomatoes and made what felt like a ridiculous amount of sauce.
Guess how long our sauce lasted?
All that tomato sauce and only two measly months to show for it.
The good news is, I have a pretty good idea of what I like in a pasta sauce, so I was able to replicate it. I’ve done my best to give you some measurements in this blog post, but please know that you don’t have to use my exact amounts. Quite frankly, I don’t make my tomato sauce exactly the same way twice.
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The Secret is in the Roast… the Oven Roast
To make the best pasta sauce, the only thing that matters is that you roast your veggies.
No added sugar, no tinkering with multiple different spices. But if you want to, you can.
Related: DON’T PINCH YOUR TOMATOES! (DO THIS INSTEAD), HOW TO PICK THE BEST TOMATO VARIETIES FOR YOUR GARDEN, The Foolproof Way to Grow the Best Tomatoes–Even if You’re a Beginner Gardener, To Prune or Not to Prune (Your Tomatoes is the Question), 3 EASY STEPS TO FIX BLOSSOM END ROT
I roast my vegetables at 375°F for around 90 minutes. Oven temperatures can vary wildly, so judge the doneness in comparison to the vegetables in the picture below.
The tomatoes should be shrivelled, all the vegetables should be tender, and everything should have just a kiss of black.
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Blend, Cool, and Serve
Once the mixture cooled, I blend everything in a blender on high until it is quite smooth. Blend less for a chunkier texture. As Chef John would say, “you are the boss of your sauce.”
I personally put some in a jar for immediate use and freeze the rest. In my research on canning, I’ve read that basil is not recommended for canning by home canners. Maybe it is fine in small amounts like in this recipe, but I personally don’t want to mess with botulism. So please, for your safety, do not can this recipe.
RELATED: How to Can and Freeze Tomatoes when you have No Time, MUST HAVE EQUIPMENT FOR HOME CANNING, THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO HOME CANNING: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
That said, it is fantastic on your favourite pasta. Use it in soups, chilli, or really anywhere you need tomato sauce.
Use any leftover sauce for freezing or check out this recipe to transform your sauce into a delicious tomato soup!
- 10 large ripe tomatoes
- 2 medium onions
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 medium summer squash or zucchini
- 1 large bell pepper
- 1 large carrot, peeled
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 sprigs basil (approximately 1/3 cup)
- Roughly chop all vegetables and put them in a roasting pan.
- Sprinkle with oil, salt, and pepper.
- Roast at 375°F until all vegetables are tender and a tiny bit black, approximately 90 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add basil.
- Cover with tin foil and allow to cool for 1 hour.
- Blend and serve or freeze in containers for later.
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READY TO GROW YOUR OWN TOMATOES?
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