Homemade Tomato Sauce

Well, I can say I have given tomato sauce made from garden fresh tomatoes a fair chance! This has been done a couple times over the course of this summer … I have tried a couple different processes, but after cooking up about 1/3 of the tomatoes Momma Bear brought me I made only 3 quarts of sauce {NO WAY, really?!? all that work for 3 jars, hmmph!!}.

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I know, I know, part of the reason for the minimal amount of sauce compared to the amount of tomatoes used was because the majority of tomatoes were beefsteak tomatoes which have a high water content compared to a roma in addition to having a preference for a thicker sauce, but still! Please, any die hard homemade tomato sauce makers out there, feel free to convince me my time is worth this result. 🙂

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On a positive note, I made lasagna earlier this week with store bought sauce followed by some Upside Down Pizza this evening and the Mr. was a big fan of tonight’s tomato sauce flavor.

In order to simplify things I knew I wanted to make a straight tomato sauce in which I could then flavor up to my liking depending on what was cooking, but what would be the best way to make a smooth and thicker sauce? With this only being my 3rd time making sauce from fresh tomatoes, I knew I would need a LOT more practice before this would be share worthy, but for the purpose of making note of what I have tried … here goes!

A friend shared with me a recipe from Foodist Approved and I had come across this article/recipe by Daniel Gritzer at Serious Eats, both sharing some great tips and recipes! I would also like to add a big THANKS to my SIL that accompanied me in the kitchen and provide some great help in the process along with having a grand time chit-chatting!

IMG 7549 - Homemade Tomato SauceHomemade Tomato Sauce 

15 lb garden fresh tomatoes, washed and halved

olive oil
sea salt

food mill

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Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Place tomatoes cut side up in any kind of baking dish you can get your hands on. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and herbs sparingly. Bake for 1 hour or until their skin begins to crispy but not burnt {however, there were a few that got slightly more done than the others for me and it wasn’t a problem since the skins were removed through the mill}. Discard excess water from pans. Transfer to food mill for no seeds and skins OR a blender/food processor (multiple batches may be needed depending on your quantity).  If the sauce is still too watery for your preference, then pour pureed sauce back into pans and continue to bake until desired consistency is reached {sorry no pic for this part … totally forgot to snag one}. Check every 10 to 15 minutes to ensure to not over bake and burn your precious sauce!

IMG 7402 - Homemade Tomato SauceOnce, the sauce is ready to be canned,  can be transferred to clean prepared jars, topped with lids and rings, and water bathed for 10 minutes.

Cost Comparison:
It cost me nothing other than my time to can these 3 jars (about 100 ounces total) of tomato sauce but I probably used about $1 worth of ingredients and lids. To compare this to the $3 – 105 ounce can of tomato sauce I usually buy at Sams Club, it’s definitely a savings in money … time not so much … flavor, BIG step up … but was it all worth it? I am still debating that! 😉

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