There is just no comparison to homemade tomato sauce. After you try my version, the jarred stuff will never cut it for you again. This sauce is easy and can be thrown together in no time. It’s perfect with pasta and meatballs, spooned over chicken parmigiana, or baked into a lasagna. Here’s how I make it:
Start by melting a tablespoon of butter in a medium sauce pan.
Add in half of a diced yellow onion and 2 cloves of finely diced garlic. Stir everything together and saute until the onion is translucent.
Add in 3 cans of whole tomatoes. If you really want to go above and beyond, you can steam your own roma tomatoes, peel them, then add them to the sauce. Personally, I don’t feel like using fresh vs canned tomatoes makes a huge difference in taste and the canned tomatoes are a whole lot faster and easier. For these reasons I use canned, but feel free to use your preference.
At this step you will also do the first round of seasoning. Season with 1 tsp of salt, fresh cracked black pepper, 1 tbs of sugar, 1 tsp oregano, and 1 tbs fresh thyme. Also add 1 tbs of tomato paste for extra tomato richness.
I know sugar may seem like a strange ingredient, but it’s really important for a homemade tomato sauce. This much tomato needs some sweetness to counteract the acidity. Every good tomato sauce recipe will have some sort of sweetener. Normally it’s sugar, but I’ve also seen grated carrot added in for this purpose. The sauce won’t taste sweet, the sugar just helps to tone down the acid in the tomatoes.
Stir everything together and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Feel free to stir it a couple of times and break up any big chunks of tomato.
After 30 minutes add in 1/2 cup of freshly chopped basil. Add the basil at this step rather than in the first round of seasoning because you want it to stay bright green in color. The last thing people want to see on their plates are mysterious black chunks.
At this step also stir in 2 tbs of Parmesan cheese. Some people like to put a Parmesan rind in at the beginning of cooking, simmer it in the sauce, then pull it out before serving. I don’t usually have Parmesan rinds in my freezer so I substitute with Parmesan cheese. The cheese adds a great depth of flavor and saltiness. It definitely makes a difference.
Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Stir everything together and allow to simmer for another five minutes or until you are ready to serve.
Serve over pasta and meatballs, spoon it over chicken parmigiana, or bake it into a lasagna. Any way you eat it, it’s delicious!
Homemade Tomato Sauce
- 3 14 oz cans of whole tomatoes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1 tbs fresh thyme, minced
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, minced
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbs butter
- 2 tbs parmesan cheese, grated
Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Add in the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent.
Add in the tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, sugar, thyme, and tomato paste. Stir together and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir periodically and break up any big chunks.
Add in the basil and parmesan cheese. Stir in, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Allow to simmer for another 5 minutes or until ready to serve.