Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce from Homegrown Tomatoes

After two summers of experimenting, I have finally done it! Homemade spaghetti sauce perfection was achieved in the kitchen this week! Oh the joy!!! And the best news is that it’s super simple! There’s no blanching the tomatoes. No peeling the tomatoes. No big pots simmering for hours. This really couldn’t be easier, and it is jam-packed with flavor!

You need about 24-30 roma tomatoes, stems removed, cut in half, and seeds removed. Removing the seeds is the only time consuming part of this process, but it’s easily done with a kitchen knife. Here’s my three-step process: cutting board for cutting, pile of discards and mushy tomatoes in the sink, and a bowl for the seeds and all the juice that goes with them (you’ll want to save that).



Place the halved, seeded tomatoes in an ungreased 9 x 13 casserole pan.


Strain the seeds and their pulp/juice through a sieve, pushing with a spoon to extract as much juice as you can.


To the tomatoes, add: one onion quartered, 10 whole, peeled garlic cloves, and fresh basil. (More shown here, because I was making more than one batch.) The quantities aren’t exact. Use your best judgement. In the words of Thomas Edison, “There ain’t no rules around here! We’re trying to accomplish something!”


Pour the strained juice over the tomatoes. You may not want to use all of it, but you want enough liquid in the pan to keep the tomatoes from scorching on the bottom of the pan.



Drizzle all with olive oil. Again, use your best judgement as to amount.



Sprinkle with a generous quantity of kosher salt.


Sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper.


Toss all with your hands.


Isn’t it beautiful? It’s all ready to go into an oven, preheated to 425 degrees, for 35-40 minutes.


When the timer goes off, this is what you have…beautifully carmelized veggies! AND you have a house that smells delicious! Let cool for 10 minutes.


You will now need 1 small can of tomato paste and balsamic vinegar.


Using a slotted spoon, transfer all your roasted vegetables and herbs to a food processor. You don’t want too much liquid, because it will result in a runny sauce. That was one of the many problems I encountered in my experiments last summer.


Puree for a good amount of time, until the texture looks about like this. You will never really get it smoother with a food processor. But you’re not finished yet.


Add the tomato paste and balsamic vinegar to taste (somewhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon). Whir to combine.



Pour almost all of the textured sauce into another bowl…


Now THIS is the trick to perfectly smoothly textured sauce…a stick blender (or immersion blender)! Process until the texture is smooth. You will have to taste it to be sure. You can’t completely go on sight.



To the smooth sauce, add back in the small amount of reserved, textured sauce to add just a bit of body. Stir to combine.


Pour in two cup quantities into vacuum sealing Ziploc bags, seal, and freeze.



Wonderful Life Farm's Homemade Roasted Spaghetti Sauce
27 roma tomatoes
1 medium onion, quartered
10 garlic cloves, peeled
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly cracked pepper
about 1/8 c. fresh basil leaves
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 t. to 1 T. balsamic vinegar

Wash and stem tomatoes. Cut them in half and remove seeds. Save seeds and strain the juice from the seeds.

Place the tomatoes in an ungreased 9 x 13 pan. Add onions, garlic, and basil leaves to pan. Pour a good quantity of reserved tomato juice over vegatables. Sprinkle all with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and toss with your hands to combine.

Roast at 425 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Remove and cool for about 10 minutes.

Remove vegetables and herbs with a slotted spoon to a food processor. Whir to a fine texture. Add tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Whir to combine.

Transfer most of the sauce to a separate bowl and blend with an immersion blender to a smooth texture. Taste to test for the right texture. Add back in the reserved sauce, and stir to combine.

Serve immediately or freeze for later.

Yields about 4 cups of sauce.





61 comments:

  1. Oh my that sounds sooo good. Roma tomatoes will be in my garden next summer. :-)
    Thanks for the recipe.

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  2. I just made this and it was so easy and AMAZING!!!
    Thanks

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  3. Thanks so much, Kelly! I'm so happy to hear you were pleased. It was a sad day when we ate our last bag of frozen sauce this spring. We can't wait until our tomato plants are producing this summer! Bon appetit!

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  4. Does it gave to be roma tomatoes?

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  5. Yes, Katie, it does. Roma tomatoes are much drier inside (less juice), so they give you a thick (vs. a runny) sauce.

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  6. Thanks, Great instructions.

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  7. This tastes amazing and it was incredibly easy....I used a variety of tomatoes from my garden since I only had about 13 ripe roma tomatoes. I just strained it well before blending.

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  8. Picked a few dozen Roma's this weekend and will be attempting this tomorrow evening. Stay tuned!

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  9. Yay! I'm glad you liked it! I think it just can't be beat for ease and taste! Bon appetit!

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  10. Is this recipe able to be water bath canned?

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  11. I cannot recommend that. It might be fine, but it would have to be tested for proper acidity levels to be sure it's safe, and I haven't done that.

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  12. I just made this. Instead of Roma tomatoes, I used what I got from various places (neighbor’s garden, local farm/farmer’s market). I had my parents try it and they said it’s THE BEST sauce they’ve ever had and I wasn’t even done with it. So thank you for posting this recipe. It’s phenomenal.

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  13. Oh, yay! Happy comments make me happy! So glad you liked it!

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  14. How many ounces of tomato paste?! 6 or 12oz?!

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  15. Oops! One six-ounce can. Sorry about that, and thanks for pointing that out to me!

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  16. I just made this today and absolutely love it! It was my first attempt ever at making my own homemade tomato sauce. It took me nearly three hours (Please keep in mind: I'm a beginner!) but it was so worth it! I'll be making another batch next weekend after more of my Romas ripen during the week. Have you ever tried other herbs in addition or in place of the basil? I have some spicy oregano growing in my garden and was wondering how that might work out either with or instead of the basil. What do you think? Thanks for a terrific recipe!

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  17. Hi, Chrissy. I'm so glad you love it! My own stock is getting pretty small, so I hope my tomatoes hurry up and ripen this year.
    Great question about the other spices. I think you could add a little oregano with the basil. However, oregano is the key ingredient in pizza sauce...it sort of gives pizza sauce its characteristic flavor. So I think if you use only oregano, it will taste more like pizza sauce than spagnetti sauce. I hope that helps.

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  18. This was my first attempt at ever making sauce and it is really yummy! I used a mixture of Romas and Beefsteaks (from my first year gardening attempt) and it didn't get too runny. I can't wait foe my husband to try it at dinner tonight and for me to tell him I actually MADE it. I'm also going to freeze the leftover juices from the roasting pan to use as a vegetable stock so nothing goes to waste. Thanks again for the great recipe!

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  19. Soooooo good and the house DOES smell amazing!! Thank you forvthe recipe...think I will grow more tomato plants next year!!

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  20. So happy to hear that, Kristyetta! A tasty smelling house is the best!

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  21. Kate,

    What do you do with the liquid leftover once you transfer the veggies to the food processor? Thought about using it in a soup or bisque...your thoughts?

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  22. Oh my word, this is heaven in a sauce!! I am never ever going to buy or make another spaghetti sauce. This is AMAZING!!! I hope you don't mind my sharing it on my blog cookiesncows.com next week.

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  23. Hi, Carolyn.

    I'm so glad you liked it! Now, I don't mind if you share about it, as long as you link back to my blog, please.

    Thanks so much!
    -Kate

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    1. Not sure if this posted or what... sorry if this is a repeat.
      I just shared it on my blog (and linked back to you of course) http://www.cookiesncows.com/spaghetti-sauce/

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    2. I'm glad it worked so well for you! Thanks for the link back! Bon Appetit!

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  24. Looks like a great recipe. I was wondering: do you have to peel the tomatoes? I love my current sauce recipe, but the peeling takes forever. I've I could get by without peeling... I just might make the switch.

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    1. Thanks for your inquiry! And NO, you don't need to peel them! Aren't you happy about that!??! That always makes making homemade spaghetti sauce such a chore, I agree. You'll love it!

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  25. Does the recipe yield only 4 cups of sauce? I have a family of 7 and wanted to ensure there would be plenty. Would you suggest making 2 batches?

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    1. Yes, a single batch will make 4 cups. I believed I doubled it for this posting...and...well, because it's so tasty, we just can't get enough of it! I hope your family likes it!

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  26. If i'm making the sauce the day before i need it, can i just save it in the fridge until the next day?

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    1. Absolutely, Christina! I will freeze fabulously too!

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  27. Wow. I just made your recipe for this sauce with the exception of turning on my cast iron skillet to cook the tomatoes a bit before adding everything together to back. The sauce is so so so yummy! Time to cook some turkey meat to mix with it and freeze it all for a few meals for the future. Trying to do a few meals ahead of time before school starts and this really did help with that. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Oh good! I'm so glad you like it! And, yes, it freezes beautifully!

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  28. Loved it. Even my 16yo noticed how great the house smelled.

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    1. Yay! That's always a nice compliment, isn't it? Glad you like it!

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  29. I seriously just made this with tomatoes from my garden which have been piling up in my kitchen. Wow! This is the bomb! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

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  30. So easy and SOOO GOOD! I will be making this sauce every harvest, every year! It will be especially good to pull out of the freezer in February when the garden is frozen and I remember picking the fresh ingredients!

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    Replies
    1. So glad you liked it! Yes!...it is like a taste of summer's freshness in the dead of winter!

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  31. I tried this last week with tomatoes from our CSA. Very easy and delicious! I made another batch this afternoon and found it's easier to puree it with my blender. Glad to know what to do with an abundance of tomatoes!

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  32. Hi there,
    Can anyone please tell me why the seeds have been removed? It seems like such a waste to me but perhaps there is a good reason for doing so.

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    1. It's pretty standard procedure to remove the seeds before making tomatoes into sauce. Most people don't want them in their sauce, but I suppose that's a personal preference.

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  33. Just made this for the first time after looking at tons of recipes! So happy this is the one I picked because it came out Amazing! I save the pan drippings to spread over a French loaf and maybe a bit to dip it in. It was too flavorful to throw out! Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. Yay! SO glad you loved it! Mmmm...that's a great idea with the French bread! Will have to do that this summer! Thanks!

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  34. Easy recipe (for a beginner like me) and turned out great!

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  35. I made this today using better boy and Roma tomatoes from my garden. I also added some squash for more veggies and it turned out awesome!!! Thanks for the recipe.

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    1. That's a great idea! I might note, for anyone reading this in the future, that the addition of the other veggies probably helped to "bulk up" your sauce, as a Better Boy tomato would have a higher liquid content than using solely roma tomatoes.

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  36. I would like to try this recipe and can it! but I have read that you have to add lemon Juice or something along those lines? was wondering if anyone has tried that yet?

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    1. I have not tried that. The acidity would have to be just right in order for that to be safe. As experienced as I am at canning, testing the acidity of a recipe myself would make me nervous as to its safety. Perhaps you could test it with the food safety department in your state? That's what I would do, if I ever wanted to turn this into a canning recipe.

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  37. could you possibly pressure can this recipe so as to avoid worrying about the acidity?

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    1. Hi, Amy. Great question! I *think* that might work, but I've never pressure canned in my life (even though I've been canning for decades), so I don't feel comfortable endorsing that one way or the other.

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  38. Just made this recipe and it is AMAZINGLY delicious! Had to use a mixture of tomatoes that I had available but after trying this I'll never buy sauce again!

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    1. So happy you're happy, Tina! Comments like this bring a smile to my face! Thanks for brightening my day!

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