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.