Thursday, February 25, 2016

Homemade Tomato Sauce

Everybody loves homemade tomato sauce, right? Being an Italian woman of 25, you'd think I would have made a tomato sauce from scratch before. Surprisingly, no.... until today!! I researched recipes in cookbooks and on Pinterest, and pestered my mom and BFF for opinions. I finally decided to take pieces from a few different sources and make my own.

I REALLY liked the simplicity of this recipe from the Wellness Mama Blog. I especially loved that she used carrots!! However, I was looking for a sauce to simmer all day long with LOTS of veggies and hamburg. So I modified it to my liking. Here is my recipe:

5-6 lbs fresh tomatoes, cored and peeled (With a paring knife, slice just through the skin on both sides of the tomato, immerse in boiling water for 30 secs to 1 minute, then immediately put into a bowl of ice water. The skin should separate from the flesh.)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 medium to large leek, trimmed and sliced into circles and then cut in half
5-8 large baby button mushrooms, sliced thin
1 rounded Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1.5 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 lb hamburg (I used 85% lean organic grass fed)
3/4 to 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. In a large pot, combine everything EXCEPT the hamburg and the cheese. I used a potato masher to smoosh the tomatoes down and get the juices flowing, but it isn't necessary.
2. Simmer covered on low heat for 4 to 5 hours, stirring once or twice an hour.
3. Uncover sauce mixture, and continue simmering on low heat. (At this point, if you don't want a chunky sauce, use an immersion blender or a food processor until smooth.)
4. At the same time, cook your hamburg until browned.
5. Mix cooked hamburg and cheese into the sauce mixture, and simmer uncovered until sauce thickens to your liking, 15-20 minutes.

Makes about 3 quarts, maybe a little more, but definitely under a gallon. Mr. C and I used 1 quart with dinner (Hobo Stew!! YUM!), and I stored the remaining sauce in quart-sized freezer bags for using another time. Lay flat for easy storage!

Not pictured: Celery

Peeled & cored tomatoes

After the juices started can really see all the vegetables in this one!
Taken just after the first hour.

This is after I used the immersion blender, and added the hamburg & cheese.
Still looks really chunky!

Hobo Stew made with homemade tomato sauce

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