This Homemade Tomato Sauce is one of the very best ways to preserve the wonderful fresh flavor of summer tomatoes for use in the off months. You can use it in soups, sauces, casseroles, stews, etc.
I wouldn’t use most typical grocery store fresh tomatoes to make this recipe. I would only use my own home-grown tomatoes or locally-grown tomatoes that you might buy at a produce stand or farmers market. If neither of these options are available, I would use good quality canned tomatoes (preferably San Marzano).
4 pounds (1800g) very ripe tomatoes or 2 large cans whole, peeled tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
2 teaspoons sugar (you may need more if using canned tomatoes because they tend to be more acidic)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- If using fresh tomatoes, you will first need to peel them first. (See below if using canned tomatoes). Cut a small x at the bottom (away from the stem) of each tomato. Place the tomatoes in a large bowl. (If you don’t have a bowl big enough to hold them all, do this in batches.) Have a second bowl of ice water beside the bowl of tomatoes. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the tomatoes. Allow the tomatoes to sit in the hot water for approximately 30 seconds and then using a slotted spoon remove the tomatoes to the bowl of ice water and allow to sit in the ice water for 1 – 2 minutes. Where you cut the x in the tomato skin will have begun to peel away from the tomato. Gently peel the skin back toward the stem of the tomato. Now you have peeled tomatoes.
NOTE: You can also do this method with a pot of boiling water instead of boiling a kettle of water. This would be best if you don’t have two large bowls.
- Remove the stem and the core from each tomato and cut each tomato into quarters and put them into an enameled Dutch oven (or other non-reactive pan) with the onion, sugar, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Cook, covered on a gentle heat until the tomatoes are soft, about 30 – 40 minutes. Use a blender or immersion blender to puree the tomatoes until they are completely smooth. Allow to get cold, then refrigerate (up to 5 days) or freeze (1 year).
- If using canned tomatoes, pour the tomatoes into a Dutch oven and squeeze each tomato between your fingers to get a start on breaking them up. (If you don’t like the “hands-on” approach, you can take kitchen shears to the tomatoes while they are still in the can. Just snip away until the tomatoes are in small chunks.) To the broken up tomatoes, add the onion, sugar (remember you may need more with canned tomatoes), salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Then cook the same as above. Cook, covered on a gentle heat until the tomatoes are soft, about 30 – 40 minutes. Use a blender or immersion blender to puree the tomatoes until they are completely smooth. Allow to get cold, then refrigerate (up to 5 days) or freeze (1 year).