February 16, 2011

Tomato Sauce

Someone once told me that after you make your own tomato sauce you'll never go back to the stuff in the jar.  I thought they were exaggerating a bit.  Shortly after that I decided to make my own just to try it.  I thought it was good, but I also thought opening a jar was easier and tasted pretty good too.  Well the next time I ate jar sauce, I couldn't believe how awful it tasted in comparison to making my own.  In my mind I thought jarred was pretty good, but after tasting homemade I just couldn't go back.

Here's the thing I need to confess though.  I use canned tomatoes.  So for me to make my own, I am really just adding a bunch of ready made ingredients together for the most part.  It feels like cheating, but it tastes really good.  Maybe one day when I have more time on my hands I'll be able to use fresh tomatoes, but until then canned tomatoes are working just fine.

There are many, many different recipes out there.  You can even just wing it and add stuff by taste if that is your thing.  There is no wrong way to make it.  I make it a very simple way.  Here's what I use and how I do it.

Add some chopped onion and garlic with olive oil to your pot.  (I enjoy making it in my Le Creuset, and it is super easy to clean up afterwards.)
I use a can of tomato sauce, a small can of tomato paste, and a can of diced tomatoes.  For the diced tomatoes I like the Italian seasoned kind with basil and oregano.  I buy whatever is on sale or the best deal.  I mix and match brands, and it tastes fine like that to me.  
 I add some ground beef to my onions, garlic, and oil if I am making a meat sauce.  Brown the beef.
Add the diced tomatoes and stir. 
 Add the tomato sauce.  It will be a bit thin at this point.
Then I add the tomato paste to thicken it up.  You can add as little or as much as you want until you find the thickness you like.
 I like to sweeten my sauce up a little.  I add a little regular sugar.
 And a bit of brown sugar too.  I personally like adding the combination of them both.
If you add too much sugar and your sauce seems too sweet, adding some more tomato paste usually tones down the sweetness.
That's all you have to do to have a delicious tomato sauce that is much better than out of the jar, I promise!


Poekitten said...

We always make our own sauce cause we like it so much better than the canned stuff! We use canned diced tomatoes too...we buy them in bulk at Costco. I like to make it in the crockpot. I love the way it makes the house smell:) Yours looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

That looks great! I also love that pot, I need something like that.

Devon said...

My mom used to make tomato sauce, but I never learned the proper amount of things because she eyeballed it! I think I need to practice some more. You have inspired me!

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