Simple Tomato Sauce

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Looking for an easy, freezer friendly recipe? Here’s one you can use to preserve tomatoes from your garden. Watch the video below for a quick guide. Read on for full recipe details:

Simple Tomato Sauce

Equipment

  • Saucepan or Dutch Oven
  • Blender, Immersion Blender, or Food Processor

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes (variety of choice)
  • Garlic
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Oregano & Basil (Dried or Fresh)

Directions

  1. Wash and cut tomatoes. Halve small variety tomatoes. Quarter or chunk larger variety tomatoes. (Optional: Blanch and remove skins of larger variety tomatoes before Step 2). Crush peeled garlic cloves. Use about 1/2 to 1 clove per 1 cup of tomatoes (or to taste; add as much or little as you prefer!).
  2. Add tomatoes and garlic to saucepan or dutch oven. Be careful to not overfill, maintain two to three layers of tomatoes maximum from the bottom of your pan. Cook in batches if necessary.
  3. Drizzle tomatoes and garlic with extra virgin olive oil; between 1 to 2 Tbsp per 1 cup of tomatoes. Add basil and oregano; up to 1 Tbsp per 1 cup of tomatoes, or more to taste. Reminder: fresh herbs will be more bold and fragrant, adjust quantities to taste. Toss tomatoes in oil and herbs to coat evenly. Add a sprinkling of salt if desired. (Note: there will be LOTS of flavor without it!).
  4. Simmer on medium to medium-low heat, partially covered to vent steam. Stir occasionally. If there is too much liquid, remove lid completely and keep an eye on your tomatoes. If sticking to the pan occurs, add a sprinkle of olive oil. Simmer until vegetables are cooked down to a paste-like consistency: thick, but a little soupy. This could take up to an hour of simmering, sometimes more.
  5. Transfer contents to a blender, food processor, or use an immersion blender to blend your sauce to a desired consistency. This can be as chunky or as smooth as you prefer.
  6. Serve! Or freeze. To serve: Use on pizza crusts, in pasta dishes, spread on toast for a snack. Please refrigerate any unused portion of sauce immediately, and consume within 3 – 4 days. To freeze: transfer sauce to a freezer-safe container, leave headspace, and seal. Cool rapidly before transferring to freezer by placing the container and its contents in cold water. Move to freezer. Enjoy within 3  – 4 months!

Note: Mix things up by swapping basil and oregano for any combination of spices like cumin, adobo, or chili powder and add diced peppers to create a sauce you can use for tacos and other Mexican-inspired dishes.

Learn more about How to Freeze Tomatoes

Check out more Alternatives to Canning.

Written By

Amanda Butalla, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionAmanda ButallaExtension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences Call Amanda Email Amanda N.C. Cooperative Extension, Ashe County Center
Updated on Aug 5, 2021
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