A rich, savory homemade tomato sauce with garden-fresh flavors is what we’re introducing to you today. No more having to eye those jars of beautiful, delicious red sauce at Italian restaurants, because we’ll help you bring it right into your home kitchen!
What are The Best Tomatoes for Homemade Tomato Sauce?
The biggest benefit of using fresh tomatoes for making sauces is that they break down easily when put onto heat. However, to achieve the bright and rich flavor of Italian-style tomato sauce, you’ll have to add tomato paste to the fresh tomatoes as well.
If you’re able to find tomatoes that have firm flesh with little juice and few seeds, you’re lucky. Yes, we’re talking about the paste tomatoes (aka plum tomatoes): Romas and San Marzano.
Paste tomatoes win first place because they’re fleshy, solid, and succulent, but when it comes to flavor, we’d say oval tomatoes: Polish Linguisa and Amish Paste are by far the best. They’re fresh, super sweet, and have a nice firm texture, making them the perfect choice for sauces.
In our quest to come up with a recipe for homemade tomato sauce that fits every household no matter their diverse interests and culinary customs, we’ve decided to stay with the starter pack by using the common red variety of tomatoes.
To wrap it up, we’d simply say you shouldn’t stress over which tomato to opt for— no matter the difference between the varieties, every one of them will make a delicious vibrant tomato sauce.
There are two reasons why you might choose to use canned tomatoes for your tomato sauce. The first is convenience, and the second is that they are always ripe and succulent.
You have two choices when going for canned tomatoes: whole canned tomatoes and crushed tomatoes. Whole canned tomatoes are nearly the same as fresh ones but packed with more flavor; while crushed tomatoes are a bit chunky and often mixed with tomato puree.
Canned tomatoes are usually selected from the best farm crops. They’re canned when they are perfectly ripe, and the preservatives are immediately added to them. This explains why they don’t get soggy and over-ripe— at least not until they make their way to your kitchen pantry.
As canned tomatoes include flavor-enhancing ingredients, you can put them right into use without having to combine them with another tomato paste.
How to Make Homemade Tomato Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes
To make the tomato sauce, we start off by sauteing minced garlic and onion in a generous spoon of olive oil for a minute. After adding fresh tomatoes, paprika, and Hunt’s tomato paste, we bring everything to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer for 15 minutes. This allows all the ingredients to melt together and form a puree.
Feel free to add your favorite herbs and seasoning to suit your taste and add your own personal touch to the sauce. We also recommend that you use a mesh strainer (a.k.a sieve) to remove all the solid components in the tomato puree to maintain its signature smooth and refined texture.
How Do You Adjust the Texture of Tomato Sauce?
People have vastly different ideas of what the texture of a good tomato sauce should be. Some people prefer it chunky, while others would say a puréed smooth gravy is what they yearn for. In this recipe, we aimed for a thick and slightly smooth tomato sauce that’s versatile and can be use in almost all simple economical dishes that you’re likely to make at home.
Regardless of the texture, we’ve picked up the following tips from the cooking process. They may save you more time and effort:
- In most cases, you will need to chop the tomatoes into chunks or run them through a food processor/blender before cooking if you’re using fresh or whole peeled tomatoes. The more they’re pulsed, the smoother the sauce will be.
If you love a really chunky tomato puree, then simply skip this step. The tomatoes will eventually break down on their own when simmering over the heat.
- Even when you’ve already mashed your tomatoes thoroughly, it takes connoisseur skill to create a flawlessly silky smooth sauce. Straining it with a mesh strainer once it’s cooked will help get rid of any unwanted chunks before serving.
- Cooking time decides whether your sauce will be thick or thin. To achieve the desired consistency, we suggest you don’t allow the tomato sauce to simmer for less than 15 minutes, otherwise the flavors won’t have enough time to blend together. Normally, thin tomato sauces work best as a condiment (on pizza for example), while a thicker sauce is the perfect choice for recipes that require tomato sauce as one of the ingredients cooked over heat.
Tomato Sauce Recipe
- 25 oz fresh tomato
- 3 tsp garlic minced
- 4 oz onion chopped
- 2 tsp paprika
- 3 tbsp Hunt’s tomato paste
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Prepare the tomatoes:
- If you’re using fresh tomatoes: Peel and chop them into small chunks, or run them through a blender until they form a thick puree.
- If you’re using whole peeled/canned tomatoes: Put them straight into the blender to mash into a puree.
- Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes until soft.
- Add tomatoes, Hunt’s tomato paste, and paprika. Bring the pot to a boil. Reduce to a simmer right after.
- Allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Strain the tomato sauce with a mesh strainer/sieve, using a spatula to press solid components through the sieve until they’re mashed down to a smooth and silky sauce.
- Use immediately as a condiment or an ingredient for your dishes.
If refrigerated, tomato sauce is edible within three days; if frozen, the expiry period will be three months.