Growing up, we rarely used jarred tomato sauce when we had Italian dishes, we always used our own homemade spaghetti sauce recipe. Because I was young, I never thought anything of it. But when I had pasta at a friend’s house and they used jarred sauce, I never liked it much. My dad was generally the one who always made our sauce; it was one of his favorite things to do on Sunday afternoons.
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This recipe was passed down from my Sicilian grandma. It has been used for generations and you can’t mess it up! It is really easy and tastes SO much better than the store bought sauce. You can do this in a crockpot as long as you quickly cook the garlic before hand. Then place all the ingredients into the crockpot and cook on low for six hours. If you plan to can this sauce, omit the Parmesan cheese and add that when you warm up the sauce before eating. We often add ground beef or italian sausage to it as well (the one pictured has ground beef in it). This just makes it that much better!
If using Fresh Tomatoes: You can make this sauce with either cans of crushed tomatoes or fresh tomatoes. If using fresh tomatoes, you would need about 12-15 medium sized tomatoes. There is definitely more work involved when using fresh tomatoes, but it is worth it! First, you will need to get the skins off. The easiest method for this is to score the skins with a sharp knife, and then boil them for about a minute and then place in cold water. You will want to do this in batches. Once you the tomatoes have cooled, the skins should peel off relatively easily. Then chop them up, and blend in a food processor. You can control how chunky or smooth you want the sauce by how long you blend them for. Once this step is done, follow the rest of the recipe using the tomatoes you just prepared as the crushed tomatoes. We hope you enjoy it !
- 3-4 cans of Crushed Tomatoes (either regular or with basil, oregano and garlic) 28 oz. sized cans OR 12-15 fresh tomatoes (peeled, chopped and blended in a food processor)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- A bunch of dried basil (probably 3-5 Tbsp)
- A bunch of black pepper ( probably 1 - 2 tsp)
- 1 TBSP of Sugar (optional)
- 2 TSBP olive oil
- ⅓ cup of grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese
- Minced Green Peppers (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a 5+ qt. pot over medium heat, and add the chopped or pressed garlic.
- Heat for one to two minutes, making sure not to burn the garlic, then add all the tomatoes, black pepper, basil and sugar. Stirring often, bring to a low boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours stirring often.
- For the first half of the simmer time, do so with the pot uncovered, then cover.
- Add the cheese, stir in and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or so.
- This will make the equivalent to 4-5 jars of sauce, and the cost is probably about half (and it tastes way better).
Use this to make my Recipe for Chicken Parmesan – restaurant quality or better!
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