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Need a quick pasta sauce but there is none in the pantry? I’m going to show you how to make tomato sauce at home, in the same time it takes to make your pasta dish!
Growing up, before my taste buds knew any better, I ate tomato sauce from the jar quite often. It was a staple, as I’m sure it is in many homes nowadays. Once I began my culinary journey, I soon became disenchanted with jarred tomato sauce. It never tasted right to me. Then I had the idea to being making my own tomato sauce at home. I can even adjust it to exactly how I like it.
But is making tomato sauce at home all that hard??? Not at all! With just a few staples in you pantry, I can show you how to make tomato sauce at home. The best part about it, is that in the time it takes to make this sauce, you can heat your pasta water and cook your pasta by the time the sauce is finished.
I like to stock my pantry with a few essentials that I always know I’m going to need. I always have canned petite diced tomatoes and tomato paste on hand. Anytime I’m in the pinch to make something quick, those two items are always included. Always.
If you aren’t using tomato paste in homemade tomato-based sauces, you need to! Tomato paste is a by- product from all the processed tomato goods made in factories. It has such an intense and robust tomato flavor, which makes it ideal to add to any sauce or soup that needs a strong foundation. Don’t every try to make tomato soup with it by just adding water, it’s just gross. Another great alternative to tomato paste, if you find that it has an off aftertaste (some people do), I would recommend tomato puree. It’s not as concentrated as tomato puree, but it will definitely get the job done.
Tomatoes have a tendency to have some acid to them but I find that just canned tomatoes don’t have enough. I like to add a bit of red wine vinegar to my tomato sauce just for it to have a clean taste. On the off chance that the sauce begins to have a bit too much astringency, add a touch of sugar to off set it. Works like a charm. Just a pinch though, we don’t want a sweet sauce.
Now depending on my mood, I might like a chunky sauce. Sometimes I like a smooth sauce. If I want a smooth sauce, I whip out my handy immersion blender and blend the sauce right in the pot. It saves me the effort of dragging out the base of my blender and dirty-ing it up. My immersion blender is a life saver!
I do use dried oregano in this sauce because I feel like fresh oregano might be a bit too pungent. But if you like the pungent-ness of oregano, go for it! Swap it out for the oregano, though I wouldn’t use equal fresh to dried.
I hope this sauce is a life saver to you in a pinch or when you want to make a tomato sauce at home. It’s perfect with pasta (obviously) so be sure to read my guide on how to make homemade pasta. Also, if you want to make this into a Bolognese type sauce add it to my gnocchi recipe! I also have a guide on how to make that.
If you would like to see me cook this on Facebook, be sure to click this link and watch it! There are some other tips I gave in that video that you might find useful!
- 1 14 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 shallot minced
- 8 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flake
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon basil chiffonade
- To taste salt and pepper
In a small saucepot, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and sweat until translucent.
Add red pepper flakes and toast for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and toast for 2 minutes.
Add red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan. Add canned tomatoes and dried oregano. Cook until sauce has warmed and reduced by ¼.
Blend sauce with immersion blender and mix in fresh basil. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy with favorite pasta.
I find that using a tube of tomato paste is a lot easier to deal with than the ones in a can because you can reseal it with a lid. Here is a link for my preferred brand of tubed tomato paste!