Each fall I get really excited to see the large bushels of tomatoes at our local vegetable market. This signals the time to get ready for a big batch of fresh tomato sauce! Using fresh tomatoes has a lot less sodium than canned tomatoes, and has a great fresh taste that is the perfect base for so many great meals.
Since we are using fresh tomatoes, we will need to remove the tomato skins using a boiling water bath. Once the skins are removed you can easily remove the seeds and then dice them to put into the sauce. This fresh sauce has tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, fresh basil, and takes about an hour to simmer to a nice rich flavour.
This recipe makes a good-sized batch – about 10 eight-ounce containers – and freezes really well. You could also choose to can the sauce in mason jars. It’s great on a busy weeknight to be able to pull a container of this fresh-tasting sauce out of the freezer to add to your favourite dish. This flavourful sauce is great to serve on pasta with fresh parmesan, simmer with meatballs, as a base for meat sauce for lasagna, or as a base for your homemade pizza.
Big Batch Fresh Tomato Sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 medium sweet yellow onions diced
- 8 large garlic cloves diced
- 1 large carrot finely diced
- 30 medium-sized tomatoes diced
- 1 large basil sprig
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 to 2 tbsp brown sugar or honey optional but smooths out some of the acidity
- If using fresh tomatoes you need to remove the skin and seeds before cooking. If using canned proceed to the next step.
- Fill a large bowl or pot with cold water and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cut out the top core of each tomato and then drop each tomato in the water to boil for a little less than a minute. You will see the skin crack. Carefully remove each tomato and place in the bowl of cool water. Continue doing this for all the tomatoes.
- Once the tomatoes are cooled enough to handle, peel and discard skin. Remove as many seeds as and seed pulp as possible. I use a large measuring cup or bowl to place the seeds and pulp and then strain this seed mixture over a bowl to capture the liquid to add back into the sauce. Chop the remaining tomato pieces into finer pieces to prepare to add to the next part of the sauce. Continue with all the remaining tomatoes.
- Add olive oil to a large pot and bring to medium heat. Add onions and cook until slightly softened.
- Add garlic and diced carrots and stir well to blend into onions.
- Add salt, pepper, brown sugar, and basil leaves. Stir and blend evenly.
- Add tomatoes and tomato paste and stir until evenly blended. Let simmer for about an hour.
- Let the sauce and veg simmer and soften. Once softened you can let cool slightly and then use a hand blender in the pot to puree to your desired consistency. The sauce can then be served right away and also packaged off into separate containers for future use.