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January 17, 2012

Tomato Sauce – Homemade

by Anne Paddock
Tomato sauce from scratch is intimidating – why else would there be so many ready-made jars in the grocery store?  If people knew how simple it is to make their own tomato sauce and how much better a fresh sauce tastes compared to a jarred variety, the commercial manufacturers wouldn’t be happy.  Yet, once you know how to make a basic tomato sauce, the secret is out of the bag and the store-bought brands (although a few great ones – Mama Jess or Bavaro’s – with natural wholesome ingredients are necessary and a tasty alternative) will no longer have a prominent place in your kitchen cabinet.

It’s all in the tomatoes but great tasting fresh tomatoes aren’t available year-round so choices are limited to canned or boxed varieties.  Pomi tomatoes  – either chopped or strained – are an excellent alternative to fresh tomatoes. Made from “fresh Italian tomatoes” in Italy, this boxed variety has not added ingredients. In fact, there is only one ingredient: tomatoes.

Available in most grocery stores, Pomi tomatoes come in a square box and are usually stacked next to canned tomatoes.  The sauce is simple to make and delicious. Be adventurous and adjust the minced vegetables to your liking. Use a good quality Pinot Noir (Oregon produces great Pinot Noir wine) as the wine will make a difference.

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced fine
1 carrot, minced fine
1 celery stalk, minced fine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 26-ounce box of Pomi chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup of red wine, such as Pinot Noir
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat.
  • Add the minced onion, carrot, and celery and saute until softened, 10-12 minutes
  • Add the salt and basil and blend into the vegetables.
  • Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, and red wine.
  • Cook over low heat for about 45 minutes until thickened.
  • Allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  • Pour the tomato sauce into a blender and mix for 15 seconds.
  • Heat and serve.

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