Monday, August 2, 2010

Making Tomato Sauce

After accumulating several Roma tomatoes on the kitchen counter, I made tomato sauce.

This is a simple recipe.  I freeze the tomato sauce in freezer cups and have it ready whenever a recipe lists tomato sauce.  There are only four ingredients in this tomato sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed
4 cups of fresh ripe tomatoes, stemmed--peeled--chopped
4 fresh basil leaves, whole

Each recipe makes four cups.

I have the complete recipe in the previous post and listed under "Recipes" in the pages in the right hand column.

The garlic, tomatoes and basil all came from Garden on Sherlock Street.

I apologize ahead of time for the poor exposure of many of the photos.  It was too dark not to use the flash, but there is so much white in the photos, many of them are over exposed.

First I stemmed, peeled and chopped the tomatoes.
There is a sauce pan of boiling water, a ladle that drains, a bowl of ice water, a dish pan to throw the skins into, a cutting board, a knife, a large measuring cup and a large bowl.

 I threw some tomatoes in the boiling water and waited for the skins to split.

I dropped the tomatoes with the split skins into the ice water.
Let them set there and cool off!!!  You don't want to pick up a hot mushy tomato. 

After they had cooled a bit, the tomatoes will pop out of their skins with a gentle squeeze.

 I threw the skins into the dish pan to put in the compost pile later.

 I usually just quarter the tomatoes.

Then, I threw them into the large measuring cup.
You need to know how many cups of stemmed, peeled, chopped tomatoes you have to measure out the rest of the ingredients.

This is the messy part.

Repeat this process until you have an amount of tomatoes divisible by four.
This is eight cups. 


I got 16 cups total. That means I need one cup of olive oil, 16 basil leaves and 8 garlic cloves.
Also, a small measuring cup, a large sauce pan, a potato masher, a ladle for filling the freezer cups, freezer cups, a glass (not shown), masking tape (not shown) and a pen (not shown).

After a little clean up, I started the actual recipe.

1. In a large saucepan, gently heat oil, add garlic and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove garlic.

 I gently crushed the garlic with a glass.


2. Add tomatoes and basil. Over medium heat, bring to boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer.

3. Simmer for 15 minutes. With a potato masher, pulverize tomatoes. Repeat three more times.

4. Sauce will be smooth but with some chunks of tomato remaining. Remove basil leaves. Serve at once, or allow to cool and freeze.

It took me forever to find the last basil leaf.

I took the pot off the hot burner, put the lid on it and let it sit and cool.
While it was cooling, my wonderful husband took me out for lunch.

After lunch, I filled the freezer cups.

Since I made 4 recipes, I should have gotten 16 cups.  I got 18 cups.  Bonus!  Luckily, I had exactly 18 freezer cups available (and there are two from last year still in the freezer.)


These cups are made for stacking.

I wrote 10 eighteen times on a strip of tape to mark the cups.

I had to unstack the cups to put the tape pieces on all of them.


Into the freezer.


  1. There is nothing like summer's bounty for winter consumption. Like money in the bank!

  2. Excellent and thorough post. If I can only get more than one or two ripe tomatoes at a time, I'll probably try your recipe.

  3. Tomato sauce can be used in so many ways. I wish I had the time to do more preserving. In a few years when I retire, then there will be plenty of time to freeze and can.

  4. Thank you. I can't wait to try this.

  5. I love the way you skinned the tomatoes and crushed your garlic. Looks so easy!

  6. Looks great!! I freeze all my romas and make salsa in the fall when it cools. Mine are just now getting ready to start picking! Better late than never!!

  7. ~Martha
    Indeed it is.

    Hope the tomatoes come pouring in.

    I know what you mean. It does take a block of time to do it.

    I hope you like it.

    It is easy. Patience is the problem. At least one tomato reminds me each time that it is too hot to touch.

    Do you have a freezer salsa that you like? I tried one that is great to eat directly but gets really watery when I freeze it and I don't know why!!

  8. We actually cook and can the salsa--but we use whatever tomatoes we have frozen from earlier in the summer!! I use a paste tomato called Big Mama--and they are BIG MAMMAS!! They aren't too juicy and cook down quick. Sorry I couldn't be too helpful there!

  9. This was a really good post in directions and pictures. Where do you buy your freezer cups?



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