For some reason, I always go a little overboard when buying tomatoes. It can be hard to resist the beautiful, vibrant, and fresh tomatoes while strolling through a farmer’s market on a Sunday afternoon. So if you’re the same as me, or just have a plethora of tomatoes in your garden, I’ve got the perfect solution for your tomato overhaul: make THE BEST tomato sauce.
Pick the right tomato.
Making tomato sauce is a relatively easy task, but there are a couple things you should consider. The main reason that I like homemade tomato sauce is that you can taste the sweet, floral flavours of a fresh tomato, and not the overly tart, acidic canned products. I find that the best tomatoes to bring out the sweet notes are ripe Roma tomatoes.
Roma tomatoes tend to be denser with less water content, which makes them the ideal candidate for making tomato sauce. You don’t want to cook until the water evaporates; you want to cook long enough to caramelize and soften the tomato flesh.
How to prepare the tomatoes.
Set aside a bowl of ice water. Remove the stems from the tomatoes and carve a shallow ‘X’ at the bottom of each fruit. Blanch about fifteen Roma tomatoes in a pot of boiling water until the skins loosen, and then place them in the bowl of ice water for easy peeling. Cut the tomatoes into small chunks, leaving the seeds intact. Some recipes call for seed removal, but the seeds and jelly offer a nice balance of sweetness and tartness. You can also use a blender or food processor if you prefer a smooth, pureed sauce.
How to cook the tomato sauce.
Next, all you have to do is place the chopped or blended tomatoes into a saucepan. Bring to a boil for five minutes then set on simmer for an hour. If you prefer a thicker sauce, simmer for an extra 15 minutes or until it reaches desired consistency. And simmer for 15 minutes less for a thinner sauce. Once the sauce thickens to your preference, add a pinch of salt and one or two tablespoons of lemon juice of red wine vinegar to your tomato sauce to enhance its flavours. You’ll also be able to store it for a few extra days in the fridge this way.
Make it your own.
You can always add more ingredients to your tomato sauce. I like to sauté some onions, garlic, carrots, and celery before adding the tomato sauce along with some basil. The best part about making your own homemade tomato sauce is that you can really make it your own! Experiment with different ingredients and different tomatoes to create your masterpiece. Share with us how you like to make your own tomato sauce!