Homemade Pasta Sauce

Feb 9, 2012

I seriously thought about titling this post "I Left Paul Newman" but I was a wee bit concerned about the tabloid paparazzi showing up at my house. Up until recently, my pasta sauce of choice was Newman's Own Sockarooni. One night, I started boiling my spaghetti and discovered that I did not have Sockarooni in my pantry like I had thought. Ugh!

Since my options for a quick dinner were limited, I decided to forge ahead and make my own sauce using the giant can of whole tomatoes that I had purchased at Sam's Club. After all, that's why I had bought the can to begin with. That over-sized can that sat on the floor next to my pantry, sheltering dust bunnies for the past few months. {Ahem} I did a quick glance at the pasta sauce recipes in my trusty Joy of Cooking cookbook and got started.

My first attempt was pretty good, but since then, I've made our pasta sauce from scratch several times, tweaking and getting familiar with it. Now, I'm ready to share with my readers. Just in case there is someone else out there who is brave enough to leave Paul Newman (or whoever else may make your pasta sauce). I suggest looking at the ingredient list of your favorite pasta sauce and adjusting whatever recipe you use to reflect that. This is a great large family or once-a-month recipe.

Pasta Sauce (makes about 12-14 servings)
1 (102 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste (you could probably use two cans)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (or 1-2 tsp. jarred minced garlic)
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. oregano
1-2 tsp. sea salt or kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
honey, to taste (I use about 1 tsp. to balance out the acidity)

Pour the undrained tomatoes into a large, shallow dutch oven or deep skillet. Heat over medium.

Using a potato masher, crush tomatoes until no large chunks remain. Add remaining ingredients.

Bring to a simmer. Simmer on low for several hours or until sauce is reduced and thickened, stirring occasionally. Taste and add more seasoning, if desired.

At this point, I remove half of it and put it in a large jar or gallon-size freezer bag to freeze for another meal later. If you use a jar, fill it leaving a few inches for expansion. With a freezer bag, make sure it's sealed (double-bag, if you're skeered), lay it flat on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid. Then remove cookie sheet and store the sauce horizontal or vertical, your choice. You don't have to use the cookie sheet, but it keeps the bottom of the bag flat instead of sagging through the gaps in the wire racks and making it a little more difficult to remove from the freezer.

We like a meat sauce, so I use ground beef that I pre-cooked with onions and garlic and froze. I add it about 15-20 minutes before serving and simmer until the sauce and meat are heated through. Serve over your favorite pasta and add a salad.

Linked to: Homemaking Link-Up, Tasty Tuesday, Healthy 2Day, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday


  1. This looks delicious. I have been making my own sauce for a couple of years now, but I am going to try your recipe next time.

    Found you at the Friday Blog Hop. Great blog!!!

  2. Hi Christy,
    It is great to meet you! I rarely use a bottled sauce anymore, homemade is just so much better. Your sauce looks awesome and it looks like a great recipe. Hope you have a wonderful week and a special Valentine Day. Thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back soon!
    Miz Helen
    A New Follower

  3. This sounds yummy, can't wait to try it. One question - how do I alter the method to utilize fresh tomatoes in the summer? I'll be working for my CSA farmers this summer - between them and my own garden, I get tons of tomatoes! Thanks!!


  4. Mandie,
    I am not the person to ask about that. The squirrels always get my tomatoes! lol My best guess is that you would cook them first like you would if you were canning them. Let me know if you figure it out...just in case I figure out how to keep the squirrels away from my little green tomatoes.

  5. Hi Christy,
    I am so excited to tell you that I am featuring your Pasta Sauce Recipe and highlighting your blog today in the Crazy Cooking Challenge. Thanks for a great recipe, the post is live on my blog if you would like to check it out.
    Thank You!
    Miz Helen


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