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Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe Made With Fresh Tomatoes

There is nothing better or more exciting than walking into the garden and seeing a tomato starting to ripen. We know that soon that the tomatoes will be in full harvest, and that means the kitchen will be bustling with some of our favorite tomato recipes, including this Homemade Pasta Sauce recipe.

Although we have several canning recipes for those who have bushels upon bushels of fresh vegetables from the garden, we often get asked how to make a smaller batches of our recipes. These recipes are designed for those with smaller crops or for those who want to use their harvest right away.

And that is exactly what this recipe is designed for. It is a classic red pasta sauce recipe made from fresh tomatoes that can be used on top of pasta, as a dip with bread, or even as the base to a pizza.

homemade pasta sauce
Homemade pasta sauce made from the San Marzano tomatoes from our garden.

It is best made using fresh paste tomatoes, such as Roma, San Marzano, or Amish Paste varieties. These types of tomatoes make for a better sauce as they tend to have a thicker wall base and a small seed core.

Although, you can also make it with standard slicing tomatoes. However, the sauce will take longer to thicken.

But not matter what tomato variety you are using, the first step is to peel the tomatoes. Luckily, there is an easy way to remove the skins from tomatoes.

How To Remove The Skins Of Tomatoes

Start by filling a medium size stockpot with water until it is 75% full. Then place it over high heat and bring it to a boil.

Once the water begins to boil, place your whole tomatoes in the pot for 1 minute. Then immediately transfer the tomatoes to an ice water bath and let them soak until they are cool enough to handle.

Then pick up each tomato and make a small slit in the skin with a paring knife. You will be shocked at how easy the skins will peel off!

Cut the tomatoes in half and either scoop or squeeze out the seeds. All there is left to do is dice the peeled tomatoes and you on your way to cooking homemade pasta sauce!

peeling skin off tomato
Peeling the skin off of a tomato is easy when you use the hot boil/ice bath method.

Grandma’s Helpful Tip

Although many of us enjoy pasta sauce without difficulty, there are some people that can’t tolerate the high levels of acid that comes from tomatoes.

One tip that my grandmother shared with me years ago is to add a carrot when making homemade pasta sauce. The purpose of the carrot is to help absorb some of the acid from the tomato juice.

Therefore, the sauce itself will taste less bitter and it will be easier on the stomach for some. Not sure if there is scientific proof of this, but Grandma’s tips are always welcome in my kitchen!

Choose Your Homemade Pasta Sauce Consistency

The consistency of the homemade pasta sauce can vary significantly depending on the type of tomatoes that you use. The tomatoes will cook down, however, there still may be chunks of tomatoes throughout the sauce.

If you like your sauce on the thin, smooth side, you can puree the mixture by using an immersion blender to thin out the sauce after it has finished cooking. You could also put the sauce in a high speed blender, filling it no more than half full, and puree the mixture.

However, if you like more volume and texture, feel free to leave it as is! The choice is up to you!

immersion blender in pasta sauce
If you prefer a thinner sauce, use an immersion blender or high speed blender to puree the mixture.

Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe

*yields: approximately 4 cups

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 medium sweet onions, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large carrot, grated
  • 5 lbs. fresh paste tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 2 ½ tablespoons dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 dry bay leaves
  • 1/2 large carrot, left whole

INSTRUCTIONS:

The first step in making homemade pasta sauce is to sauté the onions. Do this by placing a large stockpot over medium heat.

Add the olive oil to the pot and let it heat until shimmering. Then add the diced onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until slightly tender.

Next, add the garlic and grated carrot to the pot with the onion and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes or until onions become translucent and tender. Be sure to stir continuously so that the garlic doesn’t brown too much.

Add the tomatoes, basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper and bay leaves to the pot. Stir the mixture and bring it to a boil.

Again, be sure to stir frequently so that the tomatoes do not stick to the bottom of the pot. Once the pot comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low.

simmering spaghetti sauce
Allowing the sauce to simmer will marry the flavors of the ingredients together and reduce to the desired thickness.

Low & Slow Cooking Is The Key

Keep the pot at a low simmer, stirring occasionally. Let the homemade pasta sauce simmer for 2 hours so that the tomatoes can break down and the tomato juice can reduce and thicken.

Once the sauce has been simmering for two hours add the whole, half piece of carrot and continue to simmer until the desired thickness has been reached. This will take approximately 30 minutes to an hour.

When you are satisfied with the thickness, remove the bay leaves and the solid piece of carrot from the sauce and discard. Serve immediately.

However if you like a thinner sauce, use an immersion blender or a high speed blender to puree the sauce until the desired consistency has been reached. If you do use a high speed blender, fill it no more than half full to prevent the homemade pasta sauce from exploding out of the blender.

If you want to make this ahead of time let the sauce cool and place in a covered container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or put in the freezer for up to 6 months.

spaghetti with homemade pasta sauce
Although the most popular way to serve homemade pasta sauce is over spaghetti noodles, there are so many other uses for the sauce.

Serving Suggestions For Homemade Pasta Sauce

The most common way to serve pasta sauce is to toss it with cooked noodles. Although this is a delicious way to serve the sauce, there are other ways to enjoy it as well.

  1. Use the sauce to make lasagna.
  2. Make homemade tomato soup by adding water and cream to the pasta sauce.
  3. It makes for the perfect dipping sauce for Homemade Garlic Knots or Garlic Bread.
  4. Use it as the sauce for pizza or Air Fryer Pizza Bagels.
  5. Add a little horseradish and hot sauce and make your own Cocktail Sauce for shrimp.
  6. Make Tomato Butter by mixing 1 stick of butter with 1/4 cup of Homemade Pasta sauce. Roll & freeze.
  7. Chicken Penne Alla Vodka is a delicious recipe and one of my favorites!
  8. Baked Chicken Parmesan
  9. Make a quick & easy Enchilada sauce by mixing pasta sauce with chili powder and diced green chiles.
  10. Make Italian Sloppy Joes made by mixing together cooked Italian sausage, diced green peppers and onions and pasta sauce.

As you can see you can use this sauce to make just about anything!

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

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Homemade Pasta Sauce

homemade pasta sauce

Delicious pasta sauce made from fresh paste tomatoes to use over pasta, breads and more!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 medium sweet onions, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large carrot, grated
  • 5 lbs fresh paste tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 2 ½ tablespoons dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 large carrot, left whole

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot over medium heat add the olive oil.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the diced onions and sauté for 5 minutes until slightly tender.
  3. Add the garlic and grated carrot to the pot with the onion and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes or until onions become translucent and tender.
  4. Add the tomatoes, basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper and bay leaves.
  5. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently and decrease to low heat to simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. At the end of the 2 hours, add the carrot whole piece and simmer an additional 30 minutes – 1 hour or until desired thickness has been reached.
  6. Remove bay leaves and the solid piece of carrot.
  7. Serve as is, however if you like a thinner sauce, use an immersion blender to puree until smooth.

Notes

Can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 6 months.

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 161Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 320mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 5gSugar: 14gProtein: 4g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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