Spaghetti Sauce Using Only Fresh Tomatos

I’m looking for a spaghetti sauce recipe that uses only fresh tomatoes. Where I live there are no canned shortcuts such as tomato sauce and tomato paste available.
Thanks for your help

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Pam - October 28, 2009

Hey there! I find that usually the simplest preparations are the best, especially when you’re lucky enough to get fresh product. My old standbys are three classic Italian recipes from Marcella Hazan: one that uses butter and two that use olive oil. The butter-based sauce is a little richer but really delicious and brings out the sweetness and brightness of the tomatoes. The olive oil marinara is a little lighter (and better for you, ha!). I’m a vegetarian, by the way, so all of these are meatless.

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter (serves 6)

2 lbs chopped Roma tomatoes (peeled or unpeeled)
8 TBS unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
salt and pepper

Combine the tomatoes, butter, and the onion halves in a medium saucepan. Add 1 1/2 tsp of salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, at a very slow but steady simmer, adjusting the heat as needed, for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon. Taste and correct for salt and pepper.

Discard the onion before tossing the sauce with pasta. If you want a completely smooth sauce, after removing the onion, puree the sauce in a food mill, food processor, or blender. Return to the pot and bring back to the simmer before serving.

*You can also chop the onion before cooking and leave it in the sauce. If I do that, I melt the butter in the saucepan first, then add the onion and cook until translucent before putting in the tomatoes.

Basic Marinara Sauce (serves 6)

2 lbs fresh Roma tomatoes, chopped (peeled or not)
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
2/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed or minced
2/3 cup chopped carrot
2/3 cup chopped celery
2 tsp salt (and salt and black pepper to taste)

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and 2 tsp salt and cook until the onion is translucent, stirring fairly constantly. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, continuing to stir

Add the tomatoes and bring to a gentle, steady simmer. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and scorching and simmer uncovered for about 30 mins.

If you like, you can puree everything through a food mill, blender, or food processor until it reaches your desired smoothness. I like to keep it just a little chunky. Return to the pan and cook at a steady simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes more. Taste and correct for salt and pepper.

Quick Fresh Tomato and Basil Sauce (serves 4-6)

1 bunch fresh basil (or as much as you can harvest from the garden without stripping your plants)
2 lbs fresh Roma tomatoes, chopped (peeled or not)
2-5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed/minced (I love garlic, use 5!)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped (optional, I also love onion)
1/3 cup olive oil, more if desired
salt and black pepper

Pull off the basil leaves from the stalks, rinse them briefly in cold water, and roughly chop them; yield should be about 1 1/2 to 2 cups

Heat the olive oil in a medium to large saucepan over medium heat.

A) If using onion, add the onion and cook until translucent. Then add the garlic and cook for a minute more, stirring, before adding the tomatoes and 1 tsp salt. B) If not using onion, put the garlic and tomatoes into the pan along with 1 tsp salt.

Stir in half of the basil and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until the tomato is beginning to break down. Taste and correct for salt and pepper.

Stir in the rest of the basil before serving.

I hope these are helpful! I like to make a whole bunch of sauce when the tomatoes are really in season and fresh and cheap, and then freeze it. Beats a jar any day!

Rose - October 28, 2009

I was excited to try this tip this season until our tomatoes all died from late season blight.

Dehydrate tomatoes, snip small and add to cannin gjar. Then add your sauce. The dehydrated tomatoes will soak up the excess water and you’ll be left with a nice thick can of tomatoes.

Let me know how this works since I sadly couldn’t try it out!

Amy - October 28, 2009

Although all of my garden tomatoes had blight this year, I bought a couple bushels from our local Amish farmer who only charged me .30/lb. One of the things I made was homemade tomato sauce. After removing skins and as many seeds as possible (keeping the meaty pulp of the tomato) I cooked for at least 24 hours. I personally added basil, garlic as well as other italian seasoning. Also added sugar. As not to have to leave the stove on overnight, I transferred into crockpot for remained of cooking time. What a wonderful smell to wake up to. I mashed and stained the cooked sauce and proceeding to can in pressure canner. I’ve eaten 2 jars so far and it is wonderful!

Sonshine - October 28, 2009

This is the recipe that my mom would follow when she would can spaghetti sauce when I was growing up. Instead of using the 6 cans of tomatoes she would use about 1/4 bushel(10-12lbs) of tomatoes. She would peel the tomatoes and quarter the tomatoes. She would cook them first before putting any other items into the pot. Sometimes she would use the blender to make the cooked tomatoes smooth and other times she would just leave them chunky before she would put the other items in the pot.

What I do with this recipe…I have used a combination of stewed tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, crushed tomatoes. I let this simmer all day on low in the crockpot. I use the blender due to my family not liking chunky spaghetti sauce. When I cook it all day I don’t cook the carrots, onions, and garlic first! I let them get tender in the tomatoes. I add the browned ground meat after I have blended the sauce in the blender.Enjoy! This is my mom’s spaghetti sauce recipe that I grew up with! It is a tried and true recipe! It is even good as pizza sauce!

6 medium carrots, shredded
3 large onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup cooking oil
6 28-oz cans tomatoes(10-12 lbs fresh tomatoes)
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. dried basil, crushed
2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 bay leaves

In a 8-10 quart Dutch oven, cook carrots, onion, and garlic in hot cooking oil til onion is tender and not brown. Add undrained tomatoes, sugar, salt, basil, oregano, pepper and bay leaves. Boil gently, uncovered for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Cool Italian Sauce. Remove bay leaves and disgard. Place about 1/4 of the mixture at a time in blender container and blend til smooth. Freezes or cans well.

Anna - October 29, 2009

You need to peel your tomatoes first you can either use a food strainer, or do it the old fashioned way. Drop your tomatoes into boiling water boil for sixty seconds and put into ice water, ie water with ice cubes in it. Then sqeeze out the seeds and juice, or cut the tomato in half and scoop out the seeds and core. Put the remaining tomato in a pot and boil slowly until the tomato breaks down and is smooth add spaghetti sauce seasonings.

Tracy - October 29, 2009

We just tried this and liked it. Cut whole tomatoes in half(remove seeds if you want) and lay face up on baking pan – crowd as much as possible. Slice some onions over top, press some garlic, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in hot oven (400) for close to hour. Put 1/2 in blender with 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp Italian seasoning. Then do the other half.

Kimberly - October 29, 2009

You could make “Summer Sauce” with fresh tomatoes. Use whatever fresh, preferably homegrown or vine ripened, tomatoes you have on hand and however many you want. (More mouths to feed, more tomatoes) Peel and seed them, I use the boiling water/ice water method. Chop them. Place them in a glass or ceramic bowl, metal will make them taste like metal, with some chopped fresh basil, crushed garlic to taste, and salt & pepper. Cover all this with some nice olive oil so it is all submerged, but not drowning. Let sit a few hours in a warm place. When ready to eat, chop up some fresh mozzarella and serve it over hot pasta. My family waits all year to have this sauce with our homegrown tomatoes in the summer. Yum. Is it August yet?

Janet - October 29, 2009

Oh my goodness! Last week made a fresh tomato
sauce using our victorio?? strainer. Do you have
one? or know someone who has one? We put the
thin fresh tomato sauce from the v. strainer
into a pot and let it simmer to cook it down.
It made the best fresh tomato sauce for spaghetti
and for sloppy joes. WoW!! It was terrific.

    robynwenal - August 18, 2013

    Hello, I have been searching for a way to can spaghetti sauce after using the Victorio strainer. After straining the tomatoes, then what do you do? Let the water cook out, then add seasonings?

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