A Tomato Sauce Recipe to Share and Enjoy

Douglas Pilarski

A Recipe so Easy, it's Fun!

TomatoPhoto byAvin CP via Unsplash

You Will Have Something Special to Enjoy and Share

Tomatoes ripen in August and September. Make a batch of tomato sauce during these months, and you will have something special to enjoy and share.

We are making a small batch of tomato sauce. What we don’t use can be tossed into a zip lock bag and frozen for later.

When you cut that eggplant up and you roast it in the oven and you make the tomato sauce and you put it on top, your soul is in that food, and there's something about that that can never be made by a company that has three million employees. - Chef Mario Batali

Let’s go for groceries. Here is our market list.

We’ll need five to six pounds of tomatoes

Choose the cracked, slightly bruised tomatoes at the market. Find the ones that look like they’re just a little too ripe. The flesh should be dense and sweet. The coloring should be a deep red.

¾ teaspoon of salt

Salt differs in taste from one to the next. I encourage you to experiment with different flavors. There is such a massive following for sea salt. Remember, all salt comes from the sea. Don’t let the marketing people trip you up.

Two tablespoons of olive oil

I like the robust versions of EVOO from Spain. There are many variations, but I prefer the more assertive flavors.

Olive OilPhoto byFulvio Ciccolo via Unsplash
At home, I make a large batch of tomato sauce and freeze it in meal-size portions in freezer bags. — Joe Bastianich

1 tablespoon tomato paste

You have options here. Opening a can of paste and adding it to your sauce is no problem. You can omit this ingredient. Especially if you want to make a sauce with San Marzano. It’s a different means to the end.

Crush some garlic

Add whatever amount of fresh garlic you want. Crush the cloves between your cutting board and chef knife or counter scraper. Bruise it just enough to release the allicin. It’s the essence of garlic.

A handful of fresh basil

The amount you add is up to you. Fresh basil is unmistakable.

Bay leaf

Yes, they do taste like something. If you use too much, the Bay leaf flavor may only hit you in a tomato sauce. Suffice it to say it is a key background flavor. Experiment with the minty spearmint flavor by infusing a cup of boiling water. The taste should come through.

Add the heel of your Parmigiano-Reggiano

It’s grandma’s secret sauce trick. Fish it out after simmering, and reuse it the next time you make a sauce.

You now have several options

Try immersing your fruit

Place your tomatoes in a boiling pot of water for three to five minutes. The skins will fall right off. Expect less waste and a cleaner, more intense flavor.

Grating tomatoes are an excellent way to get to the sauce

With a simple box grater, you won’t lose pulp, juice, or seeds. Start with a large, ripe tomato. Your fingers are safer as you make progress grating. Add some fresh ground pepper for depth and complexity.

Try your food processor

Start with a julienne or grating disk. You’ll keep all the juice, seeds, and pulp. Add a bay leaf and some red pepper flakes for an added dimension.

Omit a long simmer time and the tomato paste?

Bring home the largest, ripest tomatoes you can find. Beefsteak or ripe heirlooms will work fine. Chunk them, add some fresh garlic, and EVOO. Reduce over half the heat, and add your salt and basil leaves.

Danger is to adventure what garlic is to spaghetti sauce. Without it, you just end up with stewed tomatoes. - Tom Robbins

Let’s review

Step 1

Use a knife or grater. Keep the seeds, juice, and skins. Get your tomatoes into a bowl. You’ll need roughly 4 cups of tomatoes.

Step 2

Place your tomato pulp in a saucepan and use high heat. A lower, wider pan will work. I prefer a smaller sauce pot with taller sides and a lid.

Add salt, olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, basil, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a brisk simmer.

Step 3

Reduce the sauce by almost half, occasionally stirring, to produce about 2½ cups of medium-thick sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. It will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator or may be frozen.

That’s all there is to it.


Douglas Pilarski is an award-winning Writer & Journalist based on the west coast. He writes about luxury goods, exotic cars, horology, tech, food, lifestyle, millionaire travel, and the workplace. He is a regular contributor to Newsbreak.com and Medium.com.

You’re welcome to share your thoughts or tell me your story. Please email me here - dp1@sawyertms.com

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Douglas Pilarski is an award-winning writer & journalist based on the west coast. He writes about luxury goods, exotic cars, horology, tech, food, lifestyle, equestrian and rodeo, and millionaire travel. He is a regular contributor to Newsbreak.com and Medium.com.

Beaverton, OR

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