Fresh tomato sauce made from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated what so ever. Just a simple process with some extra steps. The sauce can be made in advance, and it can be used for so many different dishes. Pizza, pasta, stews, casseroles, soups etc, you name it.
And just because this sauce is made from scratch, that certainly doesn’t mean that we need to stand over a pot, stirring for hours. Making fresh tomato sauce is an easy process, and I do think that there is great value in learning how to make a sauce like this using fresh ingredients. Since it teaches you how to bring the best out of those ingredients.
And as it says in the title, you only need 5 ingredients to make this sauce.
Let’s have a look at how to make this sauce.
How to Peel and Prep the Tomatoes
To prep the tomatoes for tomato sauce it’s best to peal them, and peeling tomatoes is not like peeling a carrot or a potato. We need to loosen the skin. And to do that, you first need, to bring a pot of water to a rolling boil (add just enough water to cover the tomatoes).
Then use a knife to make 3-4 small incisions in the tomato.
Now, add the tomatoes to the boiling water, and leave the tomatoes for no longer than 30 seconds. It’s very important that you don’t cook the tomato, we’re just trying to soften the skin.
From there, transfer the tomatoes to a bowl filled with ice cold water.
Now, you should see areas where the skin is loosening. Once the tomatoes have cooled down, start peeling the skin off the tomato, it should come off nice and easy.
Discard the skin, and then cut your peeled tomatoes into quarters.
Remove the seeds from the tomato quarters, you can use a small spoon to do this, but I like to use my clean hands. Once you’re left with the flesh of the tomato, finely dice it.
And that is how you successfully peel and prep a tomato for this tomato sauce recipe.
Tips and tricks
- Skim the sauce of need be: If you notice that there is excess oil or impurities floating at the top of the sauce, you can use a spoon to skim and discard it.
- Stir the sauce occasionally: As the sauce is simmering, you don’t need to stand over it and stir it non stop as I said earlier. However, it would be a good idea to stir it every 3-5 minutes, just to ensure that the sauce doesn’t catch or burn at the bottom of the pot.
- Add sugar if you need to: I often give this advice with tomato based dishes. Remember that tomatoes can be acidic. So when you season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper, don’t be scared to add a touch of sugar, just to balance out that acidity.
What tomatoes should I use?
Well, there is such a large variety of tomatoes out there. However, sticking with roma tomatoes has always worked for me. They are richer in flavour compared to salad tomatoes, and they have less moisture.
However, don’t worry if you can’t get your hands on roma tomatoes, any type of tomato will work wonderfully for fresh tomato sauce.
If you’d like to learn about different varieties of tomatoes that are great for tomato sauce. Then check out this post created by Joseph who runs Migrant Gardner. He has a fantastic list that I think can really help you out, just click the following link: Best Tomato For Sauces
What to make with this tomato sauce
Once you’ve made the tomato sauce, what do you do with it? This is a question I imagine a lot of you may be asking. Well, there are a lot of things that can be made with tomato sauce, here are a list of suggestions:
Pizza – Probably the first thing that comes to most peoples minds when they think about tomato sauce. Use this sauce to make some amazing cheats, or home-made pizzas! Here is a Margherita with Crispy Prosciutto recipe that you may be interested in.
Pasta Dishes – There are a lot of classic pasta dishes that use a sauce like this. Bolognese, lasagna, pasta and meatballs, chicken Parmesan you name it.
Braising Ingredients – This sauce can be fantastic for braising certain ingredients. Like this Risotto Stuffed Squid for example.
Tomato Based Stews – This sauce can also work brilliant for stews, such as this incredible looking Beef and Tomato Stew by Kelly who runs Eat Yourself Skinny.
If you want to make an easier version of this tomato sauce, you can use tinned crushed tomatoes instead of having to peel and prep fresh tomatoes. Although, try not to dismiss making the sauce from scratch using fresh tomatoes, it doesn’t take that much longer and I think every cook should try it at least once.
Roasted Red Pepper Addition
So this cheeky technique just helps the tomato sauce maintain it’s lovely red colour, and it gives an extra element of flavour without overtaking the beautiful tomato flavour.
You simply blend some roasted jarred peppers with a splash of water.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to do this. After the first 15 minutes of cooking out the sauce, you can just add a splash of water instead of the pepper and water blend.
How to freeze
If you have any left over sauce, or if you want to make this recipe in advance, then you can have a look at my Homemade Turkey Gravy recipe post, which shows you a brilliant way of storing sauces. Just apply the same method to this sauce.
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5 Ingredient Homemade Fresh Tomato Sauce
- 100 g of jarred roasted red peppers
- 75 ml of water
- 1 kg of roma tomatoes
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 15 g of basil leaves shredded
- Salt, pepper and sugar for seasoning
- At least a handful if ice
Put the red peppers and water in a blender, and blend until you have a smooth red watery mixture. Then set aside.
Fill a medium sized pot with water and then bring that water to a rolling boil.
As the water comes to a boil, use a small knife to make a few incisions in each tomato. Then, fill a large bowl with water and add your ice.
Add the tomatoes to the boiling water, and after about 30 seconds, use a large spoon (or a slotted spoon) to transfer the tomatoes in the bowl filled with ice-cold water.
Once the tomatoes have cooled, peel off the skin of each tomato and discard it.
Next, cut the tomatoes into quarters and then use your clean hands or a spoon to get rid of the seeds and the excess moisture. Leaving you with the flesh of the tomato.
Now finely dice the tomato flesh, which will leave you with a tomato concasse.
Pre-heat the pot over medium flame for about 1 minute, and then add your olive oil. From there, add your garlic and fry for about 1 minute until it starts to colour.
Add the tomato concasse (the diced tomato) and then add a pinch of salt to help break down the tomatoes. Cover the tomatoes with a lid and cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
Take the lid off, then add your red pepper blend, stir it through and continue simmering the sauce for another 15 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Then season with a pinch of sugar to balance out the acidity. And finally, finish the sauce with your shredded basil.
Store away into containers or bottles, use it for pastas, pizzas or anything else that you believe this sauce will be suitable for.
- When steeping the tomatoes in boiling water to peel them, make sure you steep them for 30 seconds at the most. We just want to peel them, not cook them at this point.
- After peeling the tomatoes, quarter them and scoop and the core and the seeds so that you're only left with the flesh. The tomato flesh is what will create a great body for a sauce.
- If you don't have a blender to blend the peppers, you can use a hand blender instead but be careful not to make a mess.
- If the sauce needs to be skimmed, which means, using a spoon to skim of any excess fat or foam floating at the surface of the sauce. Then do so.
- Stir the sauce every few minutes, just to ensure it doesn't catch and burn at the bottom.
- Tomato sauce can be quite acidic at times, so when seasoning the sauce to taste, see if you need to add a pinch of sugar too. Just to balance out that acidity.
- I love using roma tomatoes instead of salad tomatoes. Here is a list of tomato varieties which are great for sauces: Best Tomato For Sauces
- Tomato sauce is great for making pizzas, pastas, for braising ingredients and for making stews.
- If you want to “cheat”, you can skip using fresh tomatoes, and just use tinned plum or crushed tomatoes. This prevents you from having to peel and prep the fresh tomatoes.
- If you want to freeze this tomato sauce, then check out this Homemade Turkey Gravy recipe post to see how I like to effectively freeze sauces for later use.