November 16, 2010

Pasta Sauce from Scratch

When I was younger, surprisingly, I was a picky eater. There was one food in particular that I absolutely hated, the enemy if you will - the onion. My mom used to cut them up really small and try to hide them in foods (or so I would tell myself) and that made me mad. I'm not sure why I hated onions so much, but I still do. I will now eat them on occasion, but only if they are cooked in a specific way - I know, it's weird. Another food I disliked when I was a child was pasta. Spaghetti, macaroni, any pasta with a tomato-based sauce, and there was no way I was getting it down my throat. I had a whole list of tricks I liked to use to get around eating it: hiding food under my chair cushion, filling my mouth full of food and going to the bathroom to spit it in the toilet, or stuffing food into my napkin. Looking back on it now, I was a real brat.

To this day I still dislike pasta sauce from the can, but thanks to my honeymoon in Italy, I have finally fallen in love with the real stuff. It is fun experimenting with and making my own sauce. I like to use fresh pasta, like ravioli and tortellini, or plain old penne from the box. If I am eating penne, it has to be al dente and needs to have some sort of cheese - usually fresh goat cheese or a shaved parmesan; it's the only was I can enjoy. Earlier this year I was tempted to buy a pasta maker, but the fresh stuff from the grocery store is just so darn good (especially Trader Joe's ravioli) and I'll admit that I am a little lazy when it comes to cooking! I have recently been experimenting with a few different methods of making pasta sauce, and I'd like to share one of my favorites. It's surprisingly easy and ever so good. No more canned sauce for me!

serves 2
notes: The great thing about pasta sauce is you can adjust any ingredient in the recipe and it will most likely still taste delicious. This recipe makes 2 servings, but feel free to double or triple it. Most pasta sauce recipes, I have found, call for skinned and seeded fresh tomatoes. Personally I don't like to waste any bit of the tomato and I really don't mind the seeds.

4 tomatoes, boiled and peeled
1/3 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
7 sun dried tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Keeping the seeds intact makes for a more liquid sauce; if you want a thicker sauce, or if the seeds bother you, then you can de-seed the tomatoes. Also, I don't find that leaving the skins on makes a big difference, but if you don't like the texture, don't worry because they are easy to peel.

To peel a tomato, drop it in a pot of boiling water until the skin starts to crack. Remove from it from the water and submerge into a bowl of cold water. The skins should be super easy to remove at this point.

To remove the seeds, cut the tomato in half and just scoop them out of the compartments. If you choose to de-seed, you may have to add a few more tomatoes to get the desired amount of sauce.

Once your tomatoes are ready, fry oil, garlic, and sun dried tomatoes on medium heat until garlic starts to brown. Then add the fresh tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes become soft and mushy. Remove from the pot and puree in a food processor or blender until you get the desired consistency. Voila - you are done!

TIP - a great way to add veggies to a picky eaters diet - add, onions, peppers, carrots, etc. to the sauce and your kids or significant other will likely never know.


  1. Great sauce recipe, have you tried freezing? Just wondering about making lots and freezing for later use.

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  3. Thanks Medifast Coupon for the post. Freezing pasta sauce is a great idea - but because it's only my husband and I, I prefer to experiment with different sauces each time. I definitely recommend it for convenience. I have had frozen sauce in the past and it still tastes delicious!

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