Recipe: Tomato Sauce from Scratch

In our preparation for the state of California to shut down, Chris and I went to Costco to stock up (okay, panic buy) on quite a few items to supply both of us on our work from home adventures.  One of the things we bought was a case of Beefsteak Tomatoes, which the employees at Costco found hilarious as they were working to look up the item number for us.  Beefsteak tomatoes are in fact a real variety, grown to be very large, heavy, and full of fruit.  We took home our case of 8 tomatoes, ready for a sauce making adventure.

Now, are Beefsteak tomatoes the best variety to use to make sauce? – no.  Aren’t tomatoes completely out of season right now? – yes.  Are we going to let these details get in my way of quarantine-related cooking projects? – absolutely not.

When it was time to begin our sauce making project, I took all of the tomatoes out of the case and washed them thoroughly, because we wash everything thoroughly these days!  After that, I removed the stem, sliced them in half, and sliced these halves lengthwise into big wedges.  I removed the seeds from the wedges (these can get bitter if they are ground up and cooked for too long).  Next, we got to set up our Kitchen Aid grinder that we got for Christmas and took the grinder on its maiden voyage to grind up the tomato wedges into a nice, chunky puree.  The puree was added to a diced onion and garlic in some olive oil and set on the stove to reduce all afternoon. 

We used our sauce on home-made pizza (future post to come!) and have plenty left for a batch of greens and pasta.  Definitely an activity worthy of the time due to its many future uses, and a fun way to cook and prepare a big pile of tomatoes into something flavorful and ready to use. 

Recipe and pictures are below!

Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 8 Beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp rosemary, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Wash and dry tomatoes thoroughly.
  2. Remove the stem from the tomato, and then slice the tomato in half lengthwise.  Slice each half lengthwise into 1-2 inch thick slices.  Remove the seeds from each tomato slice.
  3. After all tomatoes have been sliced, puree the tomatoes using a Kitchen Aid grinder, food processor, or a blender.  Set tomato puree aside.
    1. Puree in batches if needed
  4. Chop one onion into small dice and finely chop three cloves of garlic.
  5. Add olive oil to a large stock pan or Dutch oven and place pan over medium heat.  Once warm, add the onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add all of the tomato puree to the pan, stir to combine.
  7. Bring sauce to a boil, and continue to boil for about 2 hours to start to concentrate the sauce and to allow the excess water to boil out.  After the sauce has reduced by about 1/3, turn heat to low and simmer for about 3 hours.  Sauce will have reduced by about half of the volume by the time it’s ready to serve.
  8. Add rosemary about 10 minutes before serving.
  9. Use to top pastas, pizzas, or anything where tomato sauce is required!  Enjoy!

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