Making your own tomato sauce for macaroni or pizza is SO EASY. Really, the hardest part is cutting up an onion. Oh, and using a can opener.
I make this simple sauce about once a week and use it for at least two meals (spaghetti one night and pizza on another). I love that it’s free of preservatives and excessive sodium like the jarred sauce. And you can make it your own–I love oregano so I put a touch more of that in. Or maybe you want to add some chopped green pepper along with the onion, yum! Add sauteed eggplant for a heartier sauce. Or sneak in some finely chopped frozen spinach to give the kids some extra veggies!
(Honestly, this is my mom’s tomato sauce recipe. In fact, most of my recipes come from my mom. Who’s doesn’t?)
Tomato Sauce Recipe
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic (either finely chopped fresh or jarred)
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp sugar
1 T basil
1 T oregano
1 T parsley
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 T tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
Sautee the onion on medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and cook about a minute more. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, stir. Add the spices (basil, oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper), sugar and tomato paste. Stir until paste is incorporated into the sauce. Let simmer on very low heat for half an hour.
One thing that used to bug me about making my own sauce was the wasted tomato paste. Since this recipe only calls for 1 tablespoon full, I would end up putting the rest of the can in the fridge and then throwing it out in a couple weeks when I noticed how yucky it had gotten.
Mom, once again, came through with an easy solution! Freeze tablespoon-size drops of tomato paste!
And here’s how you do it: For one can of tomato paste, you’ll need 3 sheets of plastic wrap about 8 inches long. Pull off one sheet at a time so they don’t all stick together like they tend to do.
Drop 3 tablespoon full dollops of tomato paste, in a row, on the plastic wrap. Fold the top of the plastic down and the bottom up over the tomato paste. Then twist the wrap at the ends and in between the dollops. Repeat until all the paste is out of the can and wrapped up. Put all the wraps into a freezer bag and freeze flat. Once frozen you can snip all the portions apart.