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Friday, July 27, 2012

red sauce


It seems to me that a lot of people buy ready made tomato sauces because they simply don't know how to make a delicious one from scratch. But they are expensive by comparison! Plus you have no control over ingredients. Here is my super easy, absolutely delicious recipe for homemade all-purpose red sauce. No peeling, no blanching, very little chopping. It makes a lot, so be prepared with extra containers for freezing or canning. I prefer to make my sauce from fresh tomatoes, but if you are not accustomed to that or are not bothered by using pre-canned fruits I have included the quantities for both.

In a large pot with lid, hot simmer until partially clear:
1 large sweet onion, quartered
3-4 cloves garlic, flattened with the back of a knife, optional
2 Tb olive oil

Add:
about 30 fresh tomatoes, halved
(OR 8 medium tomatoes, halved, 1 large can (12 oz) tomato paste, plus 1 large can (1 lb) whole tomatoes) 
4-6 large carrots, chopped
optional 2 sweet fresh or hot roasted pepper
the leaves from 5-6 stems of fresh herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary
2 tsp crushed black pepper
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 tsp coriander  
(optional 1 Tb brown sugar or raw honey -- I often leave this out)
2 Tb red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar 
2 Tb red wine

Cover and simmer until fresh produce is soft and cooked, and then simmer on low uncovered for up to 2 hours. Once reduced and thickened to your desired consistency, blend smooth with an immersion wand blender. The smell of red sauce permeating the house all morning is delightful!

Ladle into freezer safe canning jars or containers, and freeze. Or, water bath can for easy use later. To can for shelf-stable jars of sauce, add 1 Tb lemon juice to each clean pint jar before filling with hot sauce, and then process for 25 minutes in water bath.

Yields roughly 12-14 cups, or 6-7 pints.