Making your own fresh tomato sauce has a few steps involved but it is not a difficult process. The end result is so worth the effort. You get tomato sauce that tastes like a fresh from the garden tomato!
I also love the fact that I can control my sugar and salt content when I make my own tomato sauce vs. using it out of a can. When that bumper crop of tomatoes hits, it is the perfect time to make your own tomato sauce and then to freeze it for the rest of the year. Using tomatoes that are at their peak of ripeness will yield the best sauce. I tend to use roma tomatoes for my sauce but will also throw in whatever other tomatoes are ripe in the garden at the time (i.e. early girl, beefsteak etc.) The more watery pulp a tomato has the longer you will want to cook the sauce to thicken it up.
It does take a fair amount of tomatoes to make tomato sauce. To get 6-8 cups of tomato sauce I will use about 6-7 pounds of tomatoes. So about 1 pound per cup of sauce.
The first step is to remove the stems from the tomatoes. I use a sharp paring knife to remove it.
The next step is to peel the tomatoes. It is easier than you think. You will need a pot of boiling water and three bowls. One bowl full of ice water, a bowl to put the peeled tomatoes in and a bowl for the peels.
First, bring your pan of water to a low boil and place 4-5 tomatoes into the water. Leave them in the water for about 30 seconds or until the skin of the tomato begins to crack. Don’t leave them in too long or they will begin to turn to mush.
Remove the tomatoes from the water and place them into the bowl with the ice water. This will stop the cooking process. Let them cool for a few seconds and then remove the skins. If the skin of the tomato does not crack it will probably still come off easily. You may need to just puncture it with the end of the knife and then the peel should come right off.
Place them in one of your bowls and continue the process until all your tomatotes are peeled.
Now you are ready to make your sauce. I use my blender to puree my tomatoes. I like my sauce fairly smooth, not any chunks. If you want a chunkier sauce you can just dice up the tomatoes and then start cooking them. They will cook down more as they cook so allow for that.
You can also use an immersion blender to puree your tomatoes.
Next put your pureed tomatoes into a pan and heat on the stove. You can season the sauce with a little sugar and salt at this point if you would like. I usually add in 1-2 Tbsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt. The amount of time you cook the sauce will depend on how thick you want your sauce and how watery your tomatoes were. I cooked mine for about an hour and it reduced by one third. The shorter the cooking time, the fresher the taste and the thinner the sauce.
Your sauce is now ready to use!
I like to put it into quart size freezer bags and freeze for use during the winter.
How To Make Fresh Tomato Sauce
- 7 pounds fresh tomatoes roma, early girl, beefsteak, etc
- 2 Tbsp sugar optional
- 1/2 tsp salt optional
- Remove stems of tomatoes.
- Place 4-5 tomatoes at a time into a pan of boiling water for about 30 seconds until the skins begin to crack.
- Remove tomatoes from pan and place them into a bowl of ice water.
- After they have cooled for a few seconds remove the skin from the tomato.
- Place tomatoes into a high power blender (1/2 at a time) and blend until desired smoothness.
- If you’d like a chunkier sauce, just dice tomatoes before cooking.
- Place tomatoes puree or chunks into a pan and heat on the stove. Cook at medium heat, at a low simmer until desired thickness is achieved.
- 6-7 pounds will yield approx. 6-7 cups of sauce. How long your simmer the sauce for will affect the yield.