So you want to make your own pasta sauce but everything you have seen is about peeling, and seeding the tomatoes. It’s about hours of boiling and simmering and that then leaves you with a questionable result. I am here to tell you this sauce is amazing and you’re going to love it.
What you need to know before you start. This recipe will take about 4-5 hours. Hold on, don’t worry, you’ll only be in the kitchen for maybe 30 minutes of that. You do need to be home though. I never recommend having the oven on when you’re not home.
OK, next there are some things you’ll need that will make this easier. First off and the most important. You need a food processor. Oh, you don’t have on… not to worry it can work in a blender too. The only problem I could see doing it in a blender is that you might need to do batches and or it might get too smooth, so it just depends on the texture you want. You’ll also need rimmed cookie sheets and parchment paper.
Now it’s time to go shopping but before you do you’re going to need to make a list:
- 6 pounds of tomatoes – (Not all tomatoes are created equally so look for Roma’s or Heirlooms, maybe a combination of the two. Don’t use Beefsteak tomatoes. They have little flavor.)
- 1 Onion – I like yellow or white but it’s up to you.
- Herbs – This is going to be something hopefully you’ll develop over time as to what you like but I use Basil, Oregano, and Thyme.
You’ll also need to gather a few things from your pantry:
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
Time to make the sauce. This can be done in advance and it can be canned.
- Preheat your oven to 275ºf. Why so low? Why not higher to shorten the cooking time? Well the idea is this. Slow roasting the tomatoes will allow us to evaporate the moisture without over cooking the tomato flesh.
- So while the oven is preheating, prepare your pans. All you have to do is lay a piece of parchment over the bottom of the pan. It’s OK if it comes up the edges. It’s actually better as it will contain any juices.
- Next cut off the stem if there is one and quarter your tomatoes. If those still look big cut them in half. Arrange the tomatoes on the two baking sheets. (You will be able to fit about 3 pounds per baking sheet.)
- Now cut your onion in half, from top to bottom. Then cut off the top from each half. Peel off the dried skin. Lop off the tail. Cut the half into quarters and arrange the onion pieces with the tomatoes. You should be able to get half an onion per sheet pan.
- Time for some garlic. If this is store bought garlic I would say maybe half the had of garlic per tray. Just peel the cloves and pop them on there whole. If you like smashing your garlic to get the skins off that’s fine too. Plop the cloves all around the tomatoes and onions.
- For the herbs, it couldn’t be easier. Rip them or roughly chop them or hey throw them on there whole. I like to kinda shove mine between all the veggies but do whatever you want.
- Now drizzle the whole thing with olive oil. Just a drizzle. You’re not trying to douse the thing in oil. LOL
- Sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
- Pop them in the oven. Roast for 4-5 hours. Rotate your trays every hour if you are doing 2. If you’re only doing 1 then check every 2 hours.
What you’re looking for is a nice cooked down tomato. Maybe some caramelization. It really all depends on the tomato and how much moisture is in the tomato. I should also mention you can add anything you want to your trays. If you like a spicier sauce add some peppers. Have fun with it!
Remove the trays from the oven. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle scoop them all into your food processor or blender. (Don’t over fill your machine. Each machine usually has a max fill line. Work in batches if you need to.) Pulse to the consistency you like.
You’re done! It’s ready to use! If you need to adjust the seasoning you can when you reheat it.
During August and the beginning of September you’ll find me making this a lot due to the yield of tomatoes from my garden. That’s why learning how to can has become so vital. I spend a couple weekends making lots of sauce and my husband gets it all canned. This way we can enjoy garden fresh pasta sauce all year long even after the tomato plants have long since died back.
Usually when my tomatoes are roasting I am maybe catching up on that weeks TV shows or maybe even enjoying a movie at home with my family. One of the many things I love about this recipe is that you aren’t tied to the kitchen the entire time.
One last thing: If you can grow your own tomatoes or get to a good famers market at the end of summer look for Mortgage Lifters and Cherokee Purples as I have found they make the best sauce.