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Garden Fresh Italian Pasta Sauce

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italian pasta sauce

 

One of the most sweet rewards of summer? Home. Grown. Tomatoes! 😀

Oooooh, that first, ruby red tomato almost makes you weep! Standing over the kitchen sink, sinking your teeth into that sweet, juicy tomato, eating it just like an apple….juice running down your chin. Yes. Yes, indeedy. The simple pleasures of summer.

I seem to have VERY good luck growing tomatoes right out on my deck in half-barrels, as mine actually get bigger than most who have “in ground” gardens!

And this year was no exception! My hubby even had the neighbors over to see the mammoth-sized tomato plants that were taking over the deck as proof!

 

 

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These photos were taken a few weeks ago….they’re SCARY big now….!!!! 😀 

 

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I always wanted to live on a small farm, just enough land to have a large garden, and if I won the lottery, it would have a greenhouse, too!

There are two movies that I watch just to see the beautiful houses and greenhouses! One is, “Practical Magic”! Sadly, it’s not a real house, (unlike what my sister kept insisting), just Hollywood smoke and mirrors, but I would’ve loved to live there anyway! They sure did do a beautiful job recreating a Victorian, didn’t they? (Click here and here to see it!)

And the other is, “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle”. Unlike the other just-for-Hollywood house above, THIS house is real! Built in 1891, it’s over 6,000 square feet! Could you imagine??  Both houses in those movies are just amazing, though, real or not! And both have greenhouses! I’d be in 7th heaven! 😉

But winning the lottery is not in the cards for me so I will just keep toiling on my little deck on my small plot of land in my humble home! 😉 (Who would want to clean 6,000 square feet anyways, right?) Oh, who am I kidding. I would! Haha!

Anyways, I worked very hard on my garden this year, as always, but this time I took a few extra steps. Learning to grow tomatoes and peppers and such in pots rather than in the ground has been quite different than the huge garden I used to have back in the midwest, but I’m learning. 😉

 

tomatoes scored

 

And this wonderful, all-purpose, italian tomato sauce is proof of that! I have the herb amounts listed in my recipe to our own personal preferences, but you can make this any way you like. Omit, up, add, exchange, play, experiment, and have fun, I say! 😀  But I think that this is a great basic guide for you to start with.

 

tomatoes scalded

 

Homemade tomato sauces are super easy. You start by scoring the tops of the tomatoes making an “X” across the stem end (to make them easy to peel), submerge them into boiling hot water to scald the skins, remove the tomatoes with a large strainer or slotted spoon, and the peels will come right off.

 

tomatoes ready

 

I like to break them open to make sure they’re not rotten inside or some tiny little 6-legged creature hasn’t decided to call it home, and push the seeds and goop out with my thumbs. Then place them into a large stock pot with whatever seasonings your heart desires, and cook them down until nice and thick!

 

tomato sauce uncooked

 

You can process this in a blender or food processor if you prefer a smoother sauce, or “Old World-Style”, if you will . You can even mash through a fine mesh strainer, too, but I always just leave mine chunky-style and more rustic.

 

tomato sauce cooked

 

The only sad part is, that you don’t end up with all that much. They really cook down, but boy, let me tell ya, it’s the best sauce in the world when you make it yourself!

There truly is nothing better than homemade!

I so hope that you enjoy this all-purpose tomato sauce made from fresh garden vegetables and herbs. It really is a wonderful sauce and so much better than store-bought! Enjoy! 😀

 

italian pasta sauce

 

*We had our jar over grilled chicken breasts and cheese-filled tortellini pasta with fresh basil and shaved parmesan! YUM!!

 

tomato sauce plated

 

 

 

Garden Fresh Italian Pasta Sauce

Garden Fresh Italian Pasta Sauce

Ingredients

  • 6 lbs. tomatoes
  • 1 sweet red pepper such as a cubanelle or bell, (1/2 - 2/3 cup)
  • 1 small onion, (1 cup chopped)
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil chiffonade
  • 2 Tbl. fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tbl. fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 Tbl. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. fresh marjoram leaves
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. sweet aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. sugar, *depending on how sweet your tomatoes are
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. dried herbs de provence
  • 2 Tbl. finely grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

Instructions

  • Rinse tomatoes, remove stems and make an "x" across the stem end.
  • In batches, add tomatoes to small stock pot or large deep saucepan of simmering hot water. Remove after about 3 minutes. Let cool a bit. Peel, break open and deseed. Add to second large stock pot.
  • Add rest of ingredients, and simmer until very thick or as desired. (Stir occasionally as needed, especially at the end of cooking time).
  • *Cooking time is 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending on how thick or thin you prefer your sauce.

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