November 7, 2013

Perfect Homemade Pasta Sauce

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It’s that time of year when backyard veggie gardens are going crazy and spitting out tomatoes and cukes and zucchini left and right.

When my mom shared the bounty of her harvest and gave me two big bags of tomatoes, I knew there was only one thing to do: make sauce.

Making your own pasta sauce is pretty easy once you get the hang of peeling and seeding the tomatoes.  Each year, I try a new variation to see what version my family likes best.  This year, I added ShopRite’s Burgundy Cooking Wine to amp up the flavor of the tomatoes.

To make your own sauce, first you need to peel and seed your tomatoes.  I like the boiling water method for this, but it is messy, so don’t wear white.

Spaghetti with Homemade Pasta Sauce

5 pounds tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
1 small green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
one small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
oregano, basil and celery salt to taste
1/2 cup ShopRite Burgundy Cooking Wine
Barilla Whole Grain spaghetti
Parmesan cheese, optional


Bring water to a roiling boil in a large pot, then add the tomatoes in batches (I do no more than 5 at a time).  Boil for 30 to 60 sec0nds.  Remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and immediately plunge them into a bowl containing ice water.  When they are cool enough to touch, the skins should slide right off.  Slice the skinned tomatoes in half, then carefully squeeze them over the sink.  The seeds and extra juice should come right out.

Place the skinned and seeded tomatoes in a large pot, along with the olive oil, pepper, onion and garlic.  Simmer over low heat, uncovered, for about an hour, stirring occasionally and chopping up the tomatoes with your spoon.  When the tomatoes are soft and the other vegetables are cooked through, add the spices and the cooking wine.  Stir to incorporate, then simmer an additional ten minutes. Depending on the variety of tomato you use, your tomatoes may need more or less time to cook.  If your sauce is watery, you’ll also need extra time to cook off the extra fluid.

From here, you can leave your sauce chunky, or you can use an immersion blender or a regular blender to make smoother sauce.  If you think you may have missed a lot of seeds and skin, this is a good time to put the sauce through a mesh strainer.

I served the sauce over Barilla Whole Grain spaghetti, topped with grated Parmesan cheese and it was a hit all around.  The cooking wine gave the sauce an extra depth and made it really flavorful.  We have a winner!  I felt satisfied knowing I had cooked my family a tasty AND healthy meal.

Kayris - Cooking Wine


IMPORTANT NOTICE: As a POTLUCK blogger, I received the ShopRite Cooking Wine for free.