Winter weekends require comfort food.
Let me count the ways this Classic Tomato Sauce can be used in your favorite comfort foods…
I can’t believe I haven’t shared my family’s favorite tomato sauce with you yet, but then again, it feels so basic, which is why it’s taken me so long. Like, do you guys really want another tomato sauce recipe? Do you prefer to just buy a jar and be on your way?
If either of those describes you, give this one a try! If you’re used to using tomato sauce outta a jar, you’ll just as soon change your ways. I get it; I mean, my weeknights are no strangers to quick dinners that require about zero prep time. Which is why I freeze a bunch of this tomato sauce and with quick defrost, I have homemade tomato sauce ready in no time. Still out of a jar, just homemade with ingredients that you 100% know, and made exactly to fit your tastes.
And if you take a Sunday afternoon to make a big batch, your house will smell as delicious as ever, and you’ll be happy to have upped your homemade game. Talk about impressive.
This Classic Tomato Sauce recipe starts with the typical mirepoix, basically onions, tomatoes, and celery cooked in a bit of olive oil to release their sweetness. Then we add in garlic (not complete without!) and red wine to deglaze the pan. Making tomato sauce with red wine is LIFE. This is what Friday night dance parties were made for: aromatics going on the stove, a little wine in the pot, a lot of wine in your glass, and the best N*Sync tunes on Spotify. If you’re making a batch midweek or don’t have any wine (a tragedy!) but never fear – just use vegetable stock in place of it.
I use dried oregano and basil in the sauce, but most of the time if I have fresh herbs around I’ll throw them in. Really, it’s just a big ol’ comfort party going on in the sauce, so whichever herbs you want – go for it! Remember to crush your dried herbs in your hand to bring out more flavor before adding them.
And then the tomatoes. My favorite are Cento San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes. Sometimes I buy it with the basil leaves, sometimes not. Then the full part: hand crushing them! I squeeze them in my hands and then put them into the sauce pot, removing any hard stems that there may be. Once all the tomatoes have been crushed and put into the pot, add the remaining liquid.
Then all that wonderful goodness simmers away, making your entire house smell comforting, and delicious. There’s nothing better than the smell of herbs simmering away while you relax, dance around the kitchen, and sip on some extra wine. Happy weekend, food fam!Print
No more store-bought jars of tomato sauce – this classic tomato sauce recipe is full of flavor, comforting herbs, and freezes so you can have homemade tomato sauce anytime!
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 large carrots, diced (~1 cup)
- 3 celery stalks, diced (~1 cup)
- 1 medium onion, diced (~2 cups)
- 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- Dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/3 cup red wine (or vegetable stock)
- 2 28-ounce cans of peeled whole tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 Tablespoon dried basil
- Additional salt and pepper to taste
- In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes until tender.
- Add garlic, salt, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Deglaze pan with wine (or stock) and let cook until reduced by half, approximately 3-4 minutes.
- To prep the tomatoes, hand crush the whole peeled tomatoes in a separate bowl, removing any hard stems. Add hand crushed tomatoes into pot. Stir in dried oregano and basil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue simmering for 30 minutes. Test salt level and add according to taste. Using an immersion blender, blend sauce until smooth (or desired texture).
- Use in your favorite recipes. Let cool and store the remainder in an airtight container. If freezing, let sauce cool completely in a glass jar, leaving approximately 1 inch at the top for expansion. Cover, and place in freezer. Thaw in refrigerator or microwave.