My father absolutely hates pre-made tomato sauce, so he’s taught me to make it from scratch. I much prefer it to the canned stuff.
You will need:
- 2 large cans crushed tomato (I like Tuttorosso with basil)
- 1 small can diced tomato
- 1 green pepper, diced fine
- 1-2 onions, diced fine
- 3-5 cloves of garlic (suggested, but I personally like 2 full heads)
- Brown sugar
- Basil, oregano, Italian seasonings
- 1 lb. ground meat (optional, but if you decide to make a meat sauce, I would advise going with medium or hot sausage instead of beef; hot Italian sausage, cooked and de-cased, is wonderful. Just make sure it isn’t breakfast sausage!)
- Put diced pepper, garlic, and onion in a large saucepan and add basil, oregano, and Italian seasoning to taste.
- Sweat on medium-high heat until soft.
- While the peppers and onions are sweating, brown meat. Drain.
- Add diced and crushed tomato. Fill one large can with water and add slowly, stirring. Allow sauce to come to a slow boil.
- Reduce heat and add a small handful of brown sugar.
- Let simmer until cooked down, stirring occasionally.
- Add browned meat and let simmer for 10-20 minutes.
The brown sugar cuts the bitterness of canned tomatoes and helps to neutralize some of the acidity. If you (or someone you’re cooking for) has acid reflux or anything along those lines, adding brown sugar helps.
The nice thing about this recipe is that you can adjust the recipe to taste however you want it. Bare-bones tomato sauce, you throw together some diced and crushed tomatoes with a bit of water and simmer. Everything else is trim to make it taste better.
Any leftover can be refrigerated for up to a month or frozen basically forever.