Worms and Flowers

Easy as Tomato Sauce

Posted in Recipes by Lzyjo on August 31, 2009

A lot of things in the kitchen come with hype, whether is a grilled sandwich called a panini  or gourmands who brag that they would never touch anything other than homemade tomato sauce. In most cases the hype, is exactly that, something that dissolves when the truth is discovered. That is exactly why I am posting today, to dispel myths that tomato sauce is hard to make.  The one truth about homemade tomato sauce is that is IS more intensely flavored and overall a different animal that store bought- sauce.

There are two simple methods for making tomato sauce, one is best suited for making it “by hand” and the other using a food mill.

Begin by finding as many tomatoes as possible. To make one quart of  sauce it takes approximately 5 pounds of tomatoes.

Equipment Free Pasta Sauce


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Add rinsed tomatoes, let the water come back to a boil and cook for approximately five minutes.

The skins of the tomatoes should be just splitting open. Cook too quickly and the skin will still be attached, cook too long and pulp will exit the cracks in the skin.

Cool tomatoes under running water or in an ice bath.

Peel the blanched tomatoes. the skin should come off in one piece (hopefully)

After your tomatoes are peeled you can take a break and let them rest overnight and a lot of the water will drain off, or if you’re feeling energetic, proceeded with the sauce. Letting the tomatoes drain on their own, makes for a thicker finished product, requiring less cooking time


Chop all of the tomatoes and 1 onion. (Use onions and other seasonings sparingly as they become stronger during long-term storage.

Add additional flavorings if desired, bell peppers, hot peppers, roasted peppers, etc.,

I also add a little parsley, oregano, and basil.

Bring the mixture to a boil.

After40 minutes the tomatoes should smell cooked and they should be at a sauce like consistency.

Season with salt and sugar to taste. The amount required depends on the quantity and flavor of the tomatoes used, which varies every time.

I used 2 tsps of Salt and 1/4 C brown sugar.  1 tsp Salt and 2 TBSP of Brown Sugar should be suitable for smaller batches. I found brown sugar to be most pleasant in the sauce than white. The richer molasses flavor blends much more easily than the blunt sugariness of granulated sugar.

Thicken with a flour/water slurry if necessary. Ideally the tomato sauce should coat the spoon.

Now your tomato sauce is done, how easy was that! Give it a good taste, notice how it taste like tomatoes, notice how you can taste the freshness and nuance of every ingredient in the sauce. Amazing! Package and enjoy!


If you happened to have a food mill/squeezo, etc., that’s great because they can make massive quantities of sauce very quickly. Chop tomatoes with their skins on and follow the “Sauce” section of the recipe, after 40 minutes of cooking, run the mixture through the food mill. If you wish, reserve some of the sauce to make it chunky, or run it all through the food mill for a smooth puree.

Removing the skins, either through a food mill or by blanching, is important because of their bitter taste and leathery texture.

On the right is my BST tomato sauce mill. It is one of the most simple food mills, a crank, a bladed wheel and a fine mesh screen and is not changeable, unlike Squeezos. It also has a large hopper than can be filled to the brim.

For $10-$15 on eBay it’s so worth it! Squeezos are SO expensive brand new. I definately recommend checking on eBay you never know when someone wants to get rid of a food mill they never use!

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6 Responses

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  1. tina said, on August 31, 2009 at 11:59 AM

    Therein lies the problem-the thickening and grinding. I always stop at the point when the tomatoes smell cooked and bag and freeze. I might try some sauce though!

    Tina, I’m with you on that. I’ve done the same thing. I find that no matter how think the sauce is prior to freezing additional water always forms from the ice in the bag. I don’t know what the best solution would be, besides the dreaded canning!

  2. gail said, on August 31, 2009 at 12:25 PM

    Cool tool! Lzyjo…this is a wonderful recipe…If I weren’t a really lazy cook I would prepare it! There is also the fact that I don’t grow tomatoes and would have to spend a lot of money to get enough organic tomatoes to make it worthwhile (Begin by finding as many tomatoes as possible. To make one quart of sauce it takes approximately 5 pounds of tomatoes.) gail

    Gail, I know what you mean! I know it took almost all of my tomatoes to make 8 quarts!! Thankfully DH does the cooking around here, so occasionally I feel energetic and attempt something like this! Or, maybe someone will give you 190 lbs, like on a blog I read….

  3. ourfriendben said, on August 31, 2009 at 2:18 PM

    Bless your heart, Lzyjo! This post reminded me that last year a friend gave me an Italian Tomato Express mill and I’ve never even used it! I should put some tomatoes through it just to see what happens. It has to beat blanching! I love homemade tomato sauce, but wow, if someone gave me 190 pounds of tomatoes, I don’t know if I’d feel blessed or suicidal. 190 POUNDS?!!!

    Yes, I know! A frightening amount! I think it was a link that Jen had on her vacation post. If I’m not mistaken! What a lucky score, see people are giving those things away! It was very efficient, I must say. Cuts a lot of time off the project. I love that saying bless your heart. You’ve made my day and it’s not even 9 am!

  4. Faith said, on September 1, 2009 at 6:33 AM

    My friend is loaning me her food mill. It sounds like it will do just what my juicer does, but much faster, so I’m looking forward to trying out the applesauce with it.

    That’s a good price on eBay! I’m going to have to check those out. Do they only do tomatoes, or will they do apples as well?


    Yes, it would be perfect for apple sauce I used to make applesauce with my GM using her Squeezo, so I’ve carefully considered it. The skins come out of a separate chute on the back. Good luck and borrowing is a great idea!

  5. inadvertentfarmer said, on September 1, 2009 at 11:18 PM

    Homemade sauce is the best by far, and easy too! I have been doing raw sauce, because I’m lazy and have a vita-mix. It has a great fresh taste but I still prefer cooked sauce. Kim

    Yeah, it totally is the best, the flavors are all so apparent. If I had a Vita-Mix I’d use it too! There are a few recipes that say to fry it all first, but it’s not necessary.

  6. Cris said, on April 26, 2010 at 12:18 AM

    This is a wonderful recipe! I’ll be sure to bookmark it. Thanks for taking your time and sharing it! I’ll really enjoy eating this. THANKS

    Great! I hope you like it! Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment.

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