Tomato Sauce from Scratch (or not)

One of the last food projects I took on before the kitchen demolition was to make tomato sauce from scratch. My tomato plants decided to explode in November, partly because of weird fall weather we had. So, i had a TON of tomatoes and with no way we could eat them all. The best part, is that I froze the extra sauce (there was a lot!) so we have some deliciousness while we have no kitchen. The sauce part of the recipe is inspired by my Dad’s tomato sauce recipe, which was my FAVORITE as a kid (and still is). Yum!


If you don’t want to peel & seed your own tomatoes, whole canned tomatoes work well too. It won’t taste as fresh, but most of the time that is now I make sauce. Fresh tomatoes taste great, but I’ll admit it takes some work!


Simple sauce:

  • 15 whole tomatoes, OR 2 cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 1 onion
  • basil & oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste

For “super” sauce add:

  • 2 lbs italian sausage, hot & mild (I like half & half)
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • 1 green pepper

Tomato Prep if using fresh tomatoes:

  • Peel Tomatoes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While waiting, cut a small X in the bottom of each tomato (only piercing the skin)


  • Place the tomatoes in the boiling water for 10-20 seconds

Boiling Water

  • Then place into an ice water bath for a minute or two

Ice Bath

  • The skin should peel right off. If not, drop back into the boiling water for a few seconds.

Peeling Tomatoes

  • Seed Tomatoes. Cut tomatoes in half and squeeze/scoop out seeds over a strainer that is over a bowl (to catch the juice).


  • Use fingers to scoop out seeds from sections of tomato. Sometimes this is really easy and works great…
  1. Seeding
  • And sometimes, well not so much!

Seeding Fail

  • Once the tomatoes are peeled and seeded, set aside. They can be frozen if you don’t want to make sauce right away.

Bowl of Seeded

Sauce Details:

  • Chop onion, and other veggies.
  • In a deep frying pan or pot, brown italian sausage and cook onions Meat Browing
  • Add tomatoes, using fingers to break apart large pieces
  • Add tomato paste and some tomato juice. Tomato Paste
  • For “simple” sauce, simmer for 30-45 minutes adding olive oil, garlic & basil at the end.
  • For “super” sauce, add mushrooms, green pepper, garlic and any other veggies. Let veggies soften as sauce simmers for 30-45 minutes. Stir occasionally.


  • Add spices close to meal time. Add more tomato juice if sauce thickens too much. 

Simmering Sauce

Yields about 4 cups of sauce.

Enjoy! Here’s a PDF of my recipe: Tomato Sauce from Scratch

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