Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe - Mom On Timeout (2024)

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This Easy Homemade Pasta Sauce recipe is a great way to use all those fresh veggies in your garden! Not into canning? No worries, this sauce can be frozen in ziploc bags as well!

Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe - Mom On Timeout (1)

Our tomato plants have been quite prolific this year. Early last week I walked out to the garden and was greeted with so many red-ripe tomatoes and absolutely no plans for using them. I decided right then and there to confront my fear of canning and tackle this head-on. Why am I afraid of canning? First off – why is it called canning when everything is being put into a glass jar? How do you know if you’ve “canned” properly? What if I waste all my time and it doesn’t taste good? The list goes on and on. So the first thing I did was do some research. I found tons of recipes online and then I started getting to the good stuff that actually answered all my questions. Once I found out the methods behind the madness I felt more comfortable and went for it!
{Not into canning? No worries! Just make up the sauce and freeze in freezer bags.}

Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe - Mom On Timeout (2)

Ingredients{resulted in 5 pints of sauce plus a little extra}:
15 lbs of tomatoes (I used mostly Roma)
2 med onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbls vegetable oil
2 Tbls fresh basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbls sugar
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tbls dried oregano
2 bay leaves
dash ofWorcestershiresauce
1 small can of tomato paste {optional; use if your sauce is not thick enough for you}
1/4 c lemon juice (from a bottle; used to acidify)

Directions:

First we are going to remove the skins. Get a pot of water boiling and prepare an ice bath {a large bowl filled with ice and water}. Submerge the tomatoes {5-6 at a time} in the boiling water for about 45 seconds. Immediately remove to the ice bath. The skin can now be removed very easily – most of my tomato skins just slid right off!

Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe - Mom On Timeout (3)

Next up is removing the seeds and excess tomato juice. I’m sure there is a more technical way to do this, such as cutting open the tomatoes and scraping the seeds out, but how I actually did it was to use my hands to open the tomato up and shake those seeds out. Once I removed the seeds and squeezed the tomatoes to get rid of the juice, I placed the tomatoes into a colander so more tomato juice could drip out. Why get rid of the tomato juice? Because we’re looking for a nice thick sauce and the longer you cook the tomatoes letting the juices evaporate, the more vitamins we lose from the tomatoes. By ridding the tomatoes of excess liquids early on, we actually cut down on the cooking time and increase the nutritional value of the sauce. Pretty smart huh?

Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe - Mom On Timeout (4)

Saute the onions and peppers in the oil in a large pot for several minutes until they are translucent and soft. Add in the garlic and saute for another few minutes.

Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe - Mom On Timeout (5)

Add the tomatoes and let them cook for 10-15 minutes before adding all the other ingredients. Stir to combine and let simmer until the sauce has cooked down to your desired thickness. If you want to use a masher to speed the break-down of the tomatoes that’s totally fine. Mine took a little over an hour to get nice and thick but it will totally depend on the type of tomatoes you are using and the amount of liquid you start with.

Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe - Mom On Timeout (6)

Before canning it’s important to sterilize every utensil, jar, and lid you will be using. I read a lot about people using their dishwasher but I like to see my water boiling so I know it’s really doing what it’ssupposedto. I used my canning bath to sanitize my jars and then it was ready to go for theactualcanning process.

Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe - Mom On Timeout (7)

Once everything has been sterilized you will want to set up your jars and funnel. The jars should still be warm/hot and the sauce going into it should be hot as well. Get the canning bath up to a full boil while you are filling your jars. I found the funnel to be indispensable. It made the process so easy and kept the mess to a minimum. {Trust me, there is enough of a mess with all those tomato skins!} Note: If you are freezing your sauce, just let the sauce cool and ladle into freezer bags, remove all the air, and freeze.

Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe - Mom On Timeout (8)

Once the jars have been filled to within 1/4 inch from the top, wipe the top of the jar with a towel to remove any sauce that may get in the way of a tight seal. Place the lid on and hand-tighten the ring. Now the filled jars go into the canner where they need to be covered with at least 1 inch of water – the more the better! Keep that water boiling for the entire duration of the process. For pints you need to have the jars in a boiling water bath for 35 minutes and 40 minutes for quarts. If at any time the water stops boiling for any reason, start your time over again.

Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe - Mom On Timeout (9)

When the time is up lift the jars out of the water using jar tongs and let them cool. DO NOT touch the jars, bump the jars, move the jars, for 24 HOURS. The rings can then be removed or loosened so they do not rust in place. Once the jars have cooled you can verify that they have sealed properly by checking to see if the lid has been sucked down. Press lightly in the center and if the lid pops up and down – it did not seal. Put the jar immediately into the fridge and you can still use it. All of mine successfully sealed so you shouldn’t have a problem. We used this sauce on Easy, Cheesy, Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches this week and it was soooo good! My husband is already planning the use for the remaining five jars 🙂 I’m just excited to know how to use up all those extra tomatoes now!

Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe - Mom On Timeout (10)

Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe - Mom On Timeout (11)

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5 from 7 votes

Homemade Pasta Sauce

This Easy Homemade Pasta Sauce recipe is a great way to use all those fresh veggies in your garden! Not into canning? No worries, this sauce can be frozen in Ziploc bags as well!

Course Dinner

Cuisine American

Keyword homemade pasta sauce

Prep Time 1 hour hour

Cook Time 45 minutes minutes

Total Time 1 hour hour 45 minutes minutes

Servings 5 pints

Calories 345kcal

Author Trish - Mom On Timeout

Ingredients

  • 15 lbs tomatoes I used mostly Roma
  • 2 onions medium - chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes optional
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 oz tomato paste 1 small can - optional; use if your sauce is not thick enough for you
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice from a bottle; used to acidify

Instructions

  • First we are going to remove the skins. Get a pot of water boiling and prepare an ice bath {a large bowl filled with ice and water}. Submerge the tomatoes {5-6 at a time} in the boiling water for about 45 seconds. Immediately remove to the ice bath. The skin can now be removed very easily - most of my tomato skins just slid right off!

  • Next up is removing the seeds and excess tomato juice. I'm sure there is a more technical way to do this, such as cutting open the tomatoes and scraping the seeds out, but how I actually did it was to use my hands to open the tomato up and shake those seeds out. Once I removed the seeds and squeezed the tomatoes to get rid of the juice, I placed the tomatoes into a colander so more tomato juice could drip out. Why get rid of the tomato juice? Because we're looking for a nice thick sauce and the longer you cook the tomatoes letting the juices evaporate, the more vitamins we lose from the tomatoes. By ridding the tomatoes of excess liquids early on, we actually cut down on the cooking time and increase the nutritional value of the sauce. Pretty smart huh?

  • Saute the onions and peppers in the oil in a large pot for several minutes until they are translucent and soft. Add in the garlic and saute for another few minutes.

  • Add the tomatoes and let them cook for 10-15 minutes before adding all the other ingredients. Stir to combine and let simmer until the sauce has cooked down to your desired thickness. If you want to use a masher to speed the break-down of the tomatoes that's totally fine. Mine took a little over an hour to get nice and thick but it will totally depend on the type of tomatoes you are using and the amount of liquid you start with.

  • Before canning it's important to sterilize every utensil, jar, and lid you will be using. I read a lot about people using their dishwasher but I like to see my water boiling so I know it's really doing what it's supposed to. I used my canning bath to sanitize my jars and then it was ready to go for the actual canning process.

  • Once everything has been sterilized you will want to set up your jars and funnel. The jars should still be warm/hot and the sauce going into it should be hot as well. Get the canning bath up to a full boil while you are filling your jars. I found the funnel to be indispensable. It made the process so easy and kept the mess to a minimum. {Trust me, there is enough of a mess with all those tomato skins!} Note: If you are freezing your sauce, just let the sauce cool and ladle into freezer bags, remove all the air, and freeze.

  • Once the jars have been filled to within 1/4 inch from the top, wipe the top of the jar with a towel to remove any sauce that may get in the way of a tight seal. Place the lid on and hand-tighten the ring. Now the filled jars go into the canner where they need to be covered with at least 1 inch of water - the more the better! Keep that water boiling for the entire duration of the process. For pints you need to have the jars in a boiling water bath for 35 minutes and 40 minutes for quarts. If at any time the water stops boiling for any reason, start your time over again.

  • When the time is up lift the jars out of the water using jar tongs and let them cool. DO NOT touch the jars, bump the jars, move the jars, for 24 HOURS. The rings can then be removed or loosened so they do not rust in place. Once the jars have cooled you can verify that they have sealed properly by checking to see if the lid has been sucked down. Press lightly in the center and if the lid pops up and down - it did not seal. Put the jar immediately into the fridge and you can still use it. All of mine successfully sealed so you shouldn't have a problem.

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 812mg | Potassium: 3734mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 12748IU | Vitamin C: 233mg | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 6mg

Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe - Mom On Timeout (12)

Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe - Mom On Timeout (2024)

FAQs

How long can you leave homemade pasta sauce out? ›

How long can you put your spaghetti sauce with meat outside the refrigerator in a pan before it expires? If it's been out 2 to 4 hours, you can eat it now, but do not refrigerate it. (It'll be too dangerous before you get back to it). If it's been more than 4 hours, chuck it.

What can I add to spaghetti sauce to make it taste better? ›

Tossing in strips of basil, a sprig of thyme or some oregano can take your sauce to the next level. Although fresh herbs might pop a bit more, dried herbs and spices can work just as well. Sprinkling in some red pepper flakes, a pinch of parsley and a dash of salt and pepper can liven up your jarred pasta sauce.

How long does homemade pasta sauce last in a Mason jar? ›

How long will canned homemade tomato sauce keep? Canned homemade tomato sauce will keep for at least 18 months. Make sure that the jars are kept in a cool, dry location that's out of direct sunlight. Test your seal before opening, and if it's still intact, your sauce is still safe to eat.

What is the secret to good tomato sauce? ›

Starting with good quality tomatoes and crushing them by hand offers great flavor and texture later on. The combination of butter and oil releases fat-soluble aromatics and gives the sauce a creamy texture. Slowly cooking the sauce in the oven creates rich caramelization without burning.

Why do Italians put sugar in spaghetti sauce? ›

Up until the early 1900s, the U.S. had a limited tomato supply, and it didn't stack up to Italian standards. It is widely held that Italian immigrants began adding sugar to their sauce to make up for the overly acidic tomatoes they were forced to work with in their new home.

Can you let pasta sauce simmer all day? ›

You can simmer tomato sauce for hours on a low simmer. Stir it often so it doesn't burn. The longer you simmer the sauce the more depth and flavor it will have.

Can I freeze homemade pasta sauce? ›

The answer is YES—if you're working with tomato-based pasta sauces, that is. Unfortunately, cream-based pasta sauces don't hold up to freezing. You can still make a creamy pasta sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for a day or so, though.

Can you eat spaghetti that sat out all night? ›

Rice and pasta can contain bacteria whose spores survive the cooking process. If boiled rice or pasta are left out at 12-14o C for a long time (more than 4-6 hours), it can become extremely dangerous to eat. At this temperature the spore producing bacteria can form heat resistant toxins.

What gives spaghetti sauce depth of flavor? ›

Olives and capers add a punch of briny goodness and give tomato sauce some real personality. Toss in some chopped or whole, pitted olives and/or a handful of drained capers after heating the sauce for several minutes. Or, if you're adding garlic or sautéed vegetables, add to the sauté just before you pour in the sauce.

Why do you put vinegar in spaghetti sauce? ›

If your pasta sauce is too sweet, add a splash of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. The acidity will help cut the sweetness and create a more balanced sauce.

What does adding butter to tomato sauce do? ›

Similar to creamy sauces like Alfredo, or meaty sauces like ragu, tomato sauce is naturally low in fat, and as a result, sometimes becomes too thick and too starchy when it's been tossed with pasta. The addition of butter helps to loosen and emulsify the sauce, making it smooth and creamy.

How long should you simmer pasta sauce from a jar? ›

Ideally, you should simmer the sauce for at least 15-20 minutes. However, if you have more time, you can let it simmer for up to an hour for even deeper flavors. Just make sure to stir occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

What can I do with half a jar of spaghetti sauce? ›

7 Ways to Use Up Leftover Pasta Sauce
  1. Use it in a vegetable casserole: ...
  2. Make a potato gratin: ...
  3. Use the sauce as a dip: ...
  4. Make a soup: ...
  5. Serve over polenta: ...
  6. Use as a bread topper or pizza sauce: ...
  7. Add it to other pasta dishes:
Mar 22, 2022

Can I freeze spaghetti sauce in a jar? ›

Once opened, jarred pasta can be frozen for longer storage. "You can freeze any unused sauce in an airtight container. Use it within six months for the best quality experience," says Birmingham. Homemade pasta sauce can also be frozen as long as it doesn't contain cream or cheese.

What is the secret to good spaghetti? ›

IF YOU COOK spaghetti in a big pot of water, drain it, then toss it with sauce, you are pouring a lot of flavor down the drain, says Vendemmia chef Brian Clevenger. “The trick to good pasta is cooking it in the sauce,” he says. It was while working at Delfina in San Francisco that he really started to understand why.

What is the most important ingredient in spaghetti? ›

Tomatoes is the most popular ingredient in spaghetti sauce dishes. In fact, over 90% of spaghetti sauce recipes contain tomatoes. Variations of tomatoes include: tomato sauce: 15% of recipes.

How do you get the depth of flavor in spaghetti sauce? ›

Use vegetables

Vegetables can add depth and complexity to your sauce while toning down the tomato flavor. Finely chop some carrots, celery, and onions and sauté them before adding the tomato sauce. Let them simmer together to create a well-rounded and flavorful sauce.

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