Tomato pasta sauce made with fresh tomatoes

Home made tomato pasta sauce

You’ll have to excuse my over zealous title with this post but I wanted to be clear. This isn’t tomato sauce (aka ketchup) that you have on a sausage. This is pasta sauce, made with fresh tomatoes. Just like I said above.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get cracking.

Step 1: Buy a heap of fresh tomatoes, zucchinis (courgettes), garlic and basil. You are also going to need bottles, jars and preserve covers for the jars. All ingredients and quantities are listed at the end of this post.

You’ll be needing some of these things.

You’ll be needing some of these things.

Step 2: Get together some good friends (I recruited some usual suspects: Tenille, my brother (Tenille’s boyfriend), and my boyfriend. Previously all featured in my fruit mince pies adventures). Wine and cheese are optional, but highly recommended.

You will also be wanting these ingredients

These things are not strictly needed, but it makes cooking better.

Step 3: Grate your zucchini (courgettes).

Step 4: Begin removing the skins from your tomatoes. It’s best to remove them or your sauce will be tougher and chewy.

An easy way to peel tomatoes it to cut a cross at the bottom of the tomato skins, as shown below.

Slit the tomato skins with a cross

Then place them in a colander over boiling water in small batches. 2-3 minutes is usually enough.

Your previously made slits will help you peel the skin off.

Your previously made slits will help you peel the skin off

After you have removed the skin, chop them in half, cut out the stem at the top and remove the seeds. The seeds make the sauce bitter. Then repeat, repeat and repeat until all the tomatoes are done. See why you need the wine?

Then deseed them

Step 5: Heat the olive oil in a large heavy based pan and sauté the garlic until golden, about one minute. Add the zucchinis (courgettes), tomatoes and their juices carefully (they will splatter).

Start the cooking

You don’t need to overcook it. Just bring it to boiling to sanitise it and cook down the tomatoes. We’ll add the basil and seasoning towards the end. Simmer briskly, stirring occasionally until you have thick, chunky sauce.

Step 6: Start sanitising those jars/bottles and lids. Either the sanitise function of the dishwasher, boiling hot water or in the oven at about 120C. Don’t put the lids in the oven if they have plastic on them. Don’t be that person…

Stick your bottles or jars in the oven to sterlise them

Step 7: Add you spices, and salt and pepper to taste. Just before you’re ready to bottle it add your basil and stir through. Now, at this point we decided to stick blend it. Although it gave it a beautiful consistency, it also aerated it and made it the orange-y colour below. See before and after shots.

We were using two pots. The one at the front has been blended, the one at the back has not.

Before and after shots of stick blending

This was our finished product.

After we stick blended it

Next time we plan to use a potato masher instead to keep it a little thicker and less aerated. It’s a personal choice on how you like your sauce. Now get ready for the messy party.

Step 8: Start the bottling. Use a funnel. Use oven mits, your jars/bottles should be hot while you’re doing this for sterilisation reasons.

Fill your jars or bottles until they are 2 cm from the top.

At this point I should say that if you are using a jars you should fill them, then put them in a bath of hot water and use jar seals to ensure you get a good vacuum seal and that it will store well (jar seals = square transparent preserve covers you see on jam jars). Follow the instructions on your packet of preserve covers. You can get plenty more information from a quick google.

I should also say that we did not do this. Instead we just put them in the bottles you see here and ensured a good seal was established. We ate it up to one month later and no one got sick. I also have friends in Western Australia (it’s really hot there) who keep theirs in a pantry for months and it’s still fine.

But I’ll leave that decision in your capable hands.

Start the bottling, use oven mits, the bottles are hot

Start the bottling, use oven mits, the bottles are hot

Then enjoy! Store it. Eat it. Enjoy it. You will love yourself for making this.

A good slug of olive oil (5 tablespoons or so)
10 kilograms ripe tomatoes
8 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
5 small zucchinis (courgettes), grated
2 teaspoons dried chilli
2 teaspoons marjoram
4 large handfuls basil, ripped or cut up
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

You will also need
Jars or bottles
Preserve covers for jars

Healthy: Yes, how can it not be? Unless you start randomly adding lard or something…

Gluten free: Yes

Storage: In a cool place

Source: I used a book kindly gifted/won from Patty’s Food called My Calabria. A beautiful book of Italian food, I hope it encourages me to branch out away from my sweet baked goods more often.

17 Comments on Tomato pasta sauce made with fresh tomatoes

  1. Kristy
    1 February 2012 at 1:17 am (5 years ago)

    This looks sooooooo good! It’s almost exactly how I make one of our pasta sauces. I used fresh tomatoes and basil this past summer, put it in a storage bowl and stuck it in the freezer. We used some this past weekend and it was delicious – a little taste of summer in the dead of winter. :) I love those bottles too – very cool. :)

  2. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    1 February 2012 at 2:22 am (5 years ago)

    This is the best looking ketchup ever! OK, I’m just being rotten now. Seriously your sauce, which to really confuse you I call gravy, looks great.

  3. Erin
    1 February 2012 at 2:25 am (5 years ago)

    I really like your bottles too!

  4. Geni - Sweet and Crumby
    1 February 2012 at 6:00 am (5 years ago)

    I love this very step-by-step approach to tomato sauce…FRESH tomato sauce to be exact. It looks rich, herby and delicious and I would love a bottle shipped to me. What?!!!I It would cost $100 to ship it to me? How sad. Guess I’ll have to come for a little visit. 😉

    • Aimee@clevermuffin
      3 February 2012 at 11:29 am (5 years ago)

      We must work on that technology of being able to pour things into our modems and get them sent elsewhere! So far all I have is broken modems…

  5. Courtney
    1 February 2012 at 7:38 am (5 years ago)

    I LOVE fresh, homemade tomato sauce – it makes such a difference. And I think with any extended cooking adventure, wine is always necessary. :)

  6. Amy @ elephant eats
    1 February 2012 at 10:57 am (5 years ago)

    Those bottles are so cute! And this recipe sounds fresh and amazing.

  7. Anonymous
    1 February 2012 at 1:17 pm (5 years ago)

    How interesting with the zuchini in this sauce. Sounds really good. I love your writing by the way, you keep me smiling all the way thru!!

    • Aimee@clevermuffin
      3 February 2012 at 11:28 am (5 years ago)

      The zucchini was a strange add in I must admit. But it makes it thicker and healthier, so I went with it!

  8. sportsglutton
    2 February 2012 at 9:34 am (5 years ago)

    Being married to an Italian means that homemade sauce is usually a must. I’d take a few of these bottles off your hands. 😉

  9. Christina
    4 February 2012 at 9:56 am (5 years ago)

    This pasta sauce looks great! It makes me wish tomato season was here now…I can’t wait to try this recipe this summer! :)

  10. frugalfeeding
    4 February 2012 at 10:28 am (5 years ago)

    This looks great and I love the bottles :D. But, why do you remove the skins? It’s where a lot of the yummy goodness is!

  11. The Hook
    15 February 2012 at 12:42 am (5 years ago)

    The finished product looks very cool!

  12. annashortcakes
    18 March 2012 at 6:31 am (5 years ago)

    Wow, this looks fantastic. I’ll have to try this when the summer tomatoes appear. Thanks!

  13. Notachef
    17 February 2016 at 2:49 pm (1 year ago)

    A great sounding sauce. If you are going to put it through a potato masher or moulie you don’t need to peel the tomatoes beforehand and they also help make the sauce darker. This would also freeze well in takeaway containers for at least 6 months!


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