My Personal Roasted Tomato Sauce

19 09 2015

20150829_154721Late summer, it’s all about tomatoes. To see how many you can eat, how many ways you can use them, how many can you save for the chilly parts of the year when they are horrible in the store. Once you finish off the big slicers for BLT’s, the cherry tomatoes for snacking and salads (or you could be adventurous and pickle those, click here to check that out), it’s time for all those paste tomatoes to get ripe, sauce time! Here’s the thing, there are 100 ways to make sauce, for pizza, pasta, salsa…it can go on and on and on. I make one basic sauce, it’s much easier to adjust seasonings at the time of use than to make separate batches.

Here’s the rest of the short list of ingredients.

  • Tomatoes
  • Yellow or sweet onion of your choice, rough chopped
  • Garlic, whole cloves peeled, to your taste
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt

20150829_120630Yeah, I know, I said basic didn’t I? Preheat your oven to 350 degrees while you do the little bit of prep that’s required. Wash the tomatoes and put them in your largest roasting pan, add chopped onion and garlic cloves. I’m not adding in specific amounts here as peoples tastes vary so much on garlic and onion. I typically use at least one large onion and 8-10 cloves of garlic for a large pan. Drizzle liberally with olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt over the top and in to the oven, uncovered.

Let it go in the oven for about 30 minutes. The tomatoes will start to break down a bit and brown on top.

20150829_131813I like to crush them a bit with a large spoon at this point, mixing things up a bit. Put it back in the oven and let it go about another 30 minutes. Check it after 15 though, if things are browning more than you’d like, stir it again.

After your hour or so of roasting is up, the tomatoes should crush easily and a nice dark color should have developed. At this point you have a few choices to make.


If I’m feeling particularly lazy on this day, I buzz it all up while still in the roasting pan with my immersion blender until fairly smooth. If I’m not rushed, I’ll bring out the food strainer/food mill to remove any seeds and skin that didn’t break down or get blended in with the immersion blender. I don’t have a strong preference toward either end product but sometimes it is nice to have the seedless sauce.

The next choice is how you’re going to save it. You can certainly wait for it to cool and freeze it in your favorite containers. I usually freeze in Zip-lock freezer bags if I go this route. That said, my preferred method is to can the sauce. If you’re going to go to this effort, you will have done all that prep while the sauce was in the oven. Wash jars, caps, lids, get the water to a boil, etc. I won’t go through canning instructions here, there are plenty of resources available that will tell you the appropriate processing times, etc.


Between our garden and my in-laws, who have an epic garden, I’d say that I’ll probably process somewhere around 60-70 pounds of tomatoes beyond what we eat fresh in season. Not only will it taste better, I’ll know what I’m feeding the family and the cost is next to nothing when you look at a per jar cost.





3 responses

20 09 2015

All that good stuff plus you also have the satisfaction of doing it all! Good eating ahead for your family!

20 09 2015
Thomas Leggate

Hey there! It’s always fun to see how much can get put up for the winter.

4 11 2017
Tomato Jam – A New Condiment Must-Have | Five Star Recipe

[…] skip forward to last month. Tomatoes coming on heavy, two batches of tomato sauce and one batch of bloody mary mix already completed. Honestly, I was getting tired of processing […]

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