Sunday, March 6, 2011

Homemade Tomato Sauce

Here is my recipe for a delicious and extremely versatile tomato sauce.  I dedicate this post to my cousin, Brooks:


- 2X Large Cans of Whole San Marzano Tomatoes
- 1/2 Tube of Sun Dried Tomato Paste or Double Concentrated Tomato Paste
- 1 Small Can Organic Tomato Paste
- 1/2 Cup Diced White Onion
- 1/4 Cup Red Wine (medium to full bodied reds like Cab Sav, Shiraz, Zinfandel, etc.)
- 2 Cloves of Garlic halved and thinly sliced (be sure to remove any green shoots from the middle of the garlic clove as it imparts bitterness and heat)
- 4 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- 2 Tbsp of Butter
- Fresh Basil, Oregano, or your preferred combination of herbs
- Kosher Salt/ Fresh Ground Black Pepper


Tomatoes should be de-seeded using tomato seeder, tammis, or a hand sifter and then the juice and tomato pieces should be pulsed only for a few moments in a food processor to form the desired consistency. It should not be pureed into a homogenized, perfectly smooth sauce.  You can buy crushed tomatoes if you don't have the time or patience but this is a trade-off.


Heat a stainless 3 or 4 quart sauce pan over medium low heat. Once brought to temperature, add 2-4 Tablespoons of EVOO to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add diced onions and a pinch of salt. Once the onions soften a bit (2-3 minutes) add the sliced garlic. Note: Never allow the onions or garlic to begin to take on color or caramelize as this will impart bitterness to the sauce.

Once the onions and garlic have softened a bit, add tomato paste and allow it to sweat and form a brown fond or bits on the bottom of the pan. Next, deglaze the pan with a splash of the red wine. This will also add another dimension of flavor. Now add the prepared tomato to the sauce pan, add a good dash of salt, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Once the pot reaches a slow simmer, reduce to low heat.  The sauce should not be covered during cooking.

As the sauce simmers, the tomato solids will begin to settle out and the liquid will rise to the top. Stir occationally and continue cooking for about 30-45 minutes. You will have to be more attentive as you will need to stir more frequently as the sauce approaches the end of cooking. Once the sauce is finished, remove from heat and add S/P to taste as well as fresh basil (torn please), oregano, or other desired herbs in a modest amount. Herbs should be added at the end of cooking to avoid imparting bitterness and to preserve their bright color. You may stir in a few knobs of butter (or a Tbsp EVOO) at the end to add sheen and richness.


  1. Blogspot's best post ever! I am going to try this out some time soon. Thanks

  2. Wow...thanks for the high compliment. I'd really like to get your feedback after trying the recipe. I don't think you'll be disappointed ;)

  3. Finally! I've been wondering when you were going to post this. Your sauce is the best, Hubs!

  4. I will have to try this soon...with spaghetti squash, perhaps. Oh and those basil leaves look divine! =)