Easy Tomato Sauce – Capture The Taste of Summer

Easy Tomato Sauce

Sauce, Summer, Vacuum Blender | 19th September 2018 | By

It’s been a good year for tomatoes here in the UK. If you have more than you know what to do with, try making this easy tomato sauce. It captures the taste of summer beautifully and can be squirrelled away to remind us of warmer days when the nights draw in. If you’ve never made tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes before, this recipe is a good place to start. It takes a little time to cook, but the preparation is easy.

September Harvest

September is one of my favourite months. I may already have mentioned this. The days are still warm and light and the end-of-summer harvest is in full swing. Tomatoes are cheap and plentiful,  chillies are ripening and herbs are still abundant. This is the first year for a long time we’ve been able to grow tomatoes. So exciting. And what a year it’s been. As well as our own salad tomatoes, CT has been bringing home bucket loads of cooking tomatoes from work. They’ve been fantastic. Purple Calabash and Brad’s Black Heart are my particular favourites.

Brad's Black Heart Tomatoes

Between us, we’ve grown everything in this recipe apart from the salt and tamari. If you grow your own, it’s easy to make this sauce entirely organic, as ours is. I expect that’s why the soil association hold their annual #OrganicSeptember campaign in September.

Easy Tomato Sauce

What makes this tomato sauce so easy? Using a blender right at the beginning of the process. Yes you still have to peel the onions and garlic and wash the tomatoes and herbs, but you don’t have to worry about peeling the tomatoes. I don’t have either the time or inclination for such niceties and I’m sure I’m not the only one. There’s no fine slicing required either. Just bung everything into a blender and blitz until smooth. Then it’s just a case of cooking it down until the sauce is rich and flavoursome and has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Easy peasy.

Easy Tomato Sauce Cooking

It’s best to use ripe tomatoes, but don’t worry if they’ve gone over a bit; as long as they aren’t rotten, they’re good to go. In fact this easy tomato sauce is a great way of using up squishy tomatoes.

Easy Tomato Sauce Ready for Blending

Sugar is often added to tomato sauce as it can sometimes be a bit sour, but that’s really not necessary here. The sauce gets naturally sweeter as it cooks and reduces. I like to add a dash of tamari  which helps to bring out the tomatoes’ natural umami flavours, but this is entirely optional. Tamari is a high quality gluten-free form of soy sauce and it’s the only one I use.

Easy Tomato Sauce

Recipes In Which This Easy Tomato Sauce Can Be Used

The beauty of this easy tomato sauce is that it’s very versatile. You can use it as it is with pasta or on a pizza or add it to to rice or other grain dishes. It’s good for flavouring soups and stews or you can use it as a base to add all sorts of other ingredients. It could easily be used to replace the tomato sauce in any of the following Tin and Thyme recipes:

5 Ways to Tweak This Easy Tomato Sauce

1. Tomatoes

Experiencing a glut of tomatoes? Found a large pallet at a reduced price at your local market? Only have half a kilo of tomatoes? You can easily adjust the quantities to suit the number of tomatoes you have. This recipe is more of a guide than an exact measure of ingredients needed. Just make sure you have a big enough pan available if going for more than the quantity stated in this recipe.

2. Green Herbs

Fresh green herbs are also a great way to capture that taste of summer. We’ve grown masses of basil this year. Unlike me, it really enjoyed the heat. It’s highly recommended for this easy tomato sauce as there’s nothing quite like basil for summer scent and flavour. But you can add whatever herbs you particularly like or have to hand. I added thyme and marjoram, both of which we have in the garden.

3. Red Chillies

Use any red chilli of your choice, depending on how hot you like your sauce. Although I’m a bit of a chilli head, I used a small medium hot chilli we’ve been growing this year. You can always add more heat, but it’s hard to take it away. This easy tomato sauce should be versatile enough that it can be used in whatever recipe is desired, so just a hint of heat is a safer bet. Likewise, to seed or not to seed the chilli is your choice. The seeds are generally where most of the heat is stashed. Don’t like chilli or have family members who can’t tolerate it? Just leave it out. The sauce will still be delicious.

4. Blenders

Don’t have a good blender? You could use a food processor to make a chunkier version of this sauce or even chop it all finely by hand. Since acquiring my first high speed blender, I’ve not had to think twice about making this type of sauce. It’s the blender that makes it so easy; there’s no need for excessive chopping. I used my optimum Vac2 Air Vacuum Blender*, but any of the Froothie blenders I’ve used would do a fine job on this.

5. Different Flavour Profile

If you’d prefer to have a spicier Asian flavour to this easy tomato sauce rather than the Italian one I’ve given it, just ditch the green herbs and add your favourite spices instead. Cumin is always good with tomatoes I find and cinnamon works nicely too.

Easy Tomato Sauce – The Recipe

Easy Tomato Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
 

This easy tomato sauce uses fresh seasonal tomatoes to produce a rich and delicious addition to your pantry which can be used throughout the winter months.

Course: Jams, Chutneys etc
Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: preserve, sauce, tomato sauce, tomatoes
Servings: 3 500ml jars
Author: Choclette @ Tin and Thyme
Ingredients
  • 2-3 onions - peeled
  • 1 garlic bulb - cloves separated out and peeled
  • 2 ½ kilos of ripe tomatoes - washed
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 large handful of basil leaves - washed
  • 6 thyme sprigs - hard stems removed optional
  • 6 sprigs of marjoram or oregano  - hard stems removed optional
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • dash of tamari optional
Instructions
  1. Roughly chop the onions and throw into a good blender. Add the garlic cloves, chilli and herbs.
  2. Depending on size, you may need to roughly chop the tomatoes. Add them to the blender and blitz until you have a smooth (ish) consistency.
  3. Pour into a large lidded pan. Add the salt and tamari, if using. Cover and bring to the boil.
  4. Turn the heat down and let the sauce simmer gently for ten minutes.
  5. Take the lid off the pan, turn the heat up so that the sauce continues to bubble. Let it cook down until reduced by half when it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally so it doesn't burn on the bottom.
  6. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly, then pour into sterilised glass jars if keeping in the fridge, or suitable containers if freezing.
  7. Allow the sauce to cool before putting the lids on.

Recipe Notes

Will keep in the fridge for a good three months and in the freezer for at least six.

If making this quantity of sauce, you'll need to blend in 2-3 batches.

Linkies

I’m sending this easy tomato sauce recipe off to #CookBlogShare, hosted by A Strong Coffee this week and #CookOnceEatTwice with Searching for Spice.

Don’t Miss Out

If you make this easy tomato sauce, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. A photo would be good too. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Easy Tomato Sauce. Pin It.

Easy Tomato Sauce using fresh homegrown tomatoes. A versatile sauce flavoured with basil which can be stored through the winter to be used as and when needed. #recipe #tomatosauce #tomatoes #sauce

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Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Mary
    19th September 2018

    Your recipe is a good one for using up the last glut that happens at the end of Summer. I like the touch of Tamari.
    Your computer has decided it should be tamarind in the list of ingredients but has Tamari in the method. But, I think both would work anyway!!
    Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      20th September 2018

      Haha, thanks for pointing out the tamari tamarind discrepancy. I’ve corrected it now, but you’re right tamarind would probably be a nice addition too.

  2. Leave a Reply

    angiesrecipes
    20th September 2018

    Fantastic! From garden to the table…the sauce must taste extremely fresh and yummy!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      20th September 2018

      It’s just been wonderful having so many lush tomatoes this year. I just want the season to go on – thus the tomato sauce 🙂

  3. Leave a Reply

    Corina Blum
    20th September 2018

    I do like the sound of this tomato sauce, especially as it’s so easy to make. I’d love to try it out as I cook a lot of meals that have tomatoes, onions and garlic in and they could easily be adapted to use this sauce. Thanks for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      21st September 2018

      It’s really useful to have a ready made tomato sauce to hand and just tomatoes, onions and garlic would make a fine sauce. I do like the addition of basil though 😉

  4. Leave a Reply

    Phil in the Kitchen
    20th September 2018

    Delicious. This would make a very fine variation (or two) to my usual tomato sauce and I’ve had plenty of tomatoes to use up this year. I grow my tomatoes in veg beds and it has been a great tomato year for me but some people who grow in greenhouses have told me that they’ve had fewer tomatoes than usual. I suppose it can be too hot even for tomatoes sometimes.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      21st September 2018

      Yes, I think that was true in the heat of summer, but the autumn August / September harvest in CT’s work greenhouse has been phenomenal. Our outdoor tomatoes did really well too. I’ve just loved having an abundance of tomatoes – very unusual for us.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Cathy @ Planet Veggie
    21st September 2018

    Whatever the opposite of a glut is, that’s what I’ve got of tomatoes 🙂 Runner beans, on the other hand… well, I’d need fifty hands to hold them all! It’s my first year of growing stuff though so it’s all very exciting and I love seeing what other people have grown.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd September 2018

      Oh noooo! We usually have a complete glut of runner beans, but they did really badly this year because of the hot weather. Well done for having a go and hopefully you’ll have an even more successful year next year.

  6. Leave a Reply

    Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder
    21st September 2018

    Your sauce sounds wonderful. I’ve been kept tomato happy this season by my lovely friend whose grandad grows cherry tomatoes so we’ve been having them in salads, pastas, roasted etc. I would love to get some of your gorgeous sauce on the go though so will have a look whether I can get my hands on some lovely, nice size tomatoes to make a batch or two. 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd September 2018

      That’s fantastic Jo. There’s just nothing quite like homegrown tomatoes and it’s so nice to be generous with them too.

  7. Leave a Reply

    Kavita Favelle
    22nd September 2018

    Love the idea of blitzing the ingredients to a smooth sauce consistency before cooking the sauce down, that’s a great way to do it! We didn’t have a good year for toms at all, ours struggled with the high levels of heat we had this summer!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd September 2018

      It’s interesting how different everyone’s were. I don’t think much liked it when it was really hot, but as soon as it got a bit cooler they just kept coming and coming – they still are.

  8. Leave a Reply

    Emma
    22nd September 2018

    Omg it really was a good year for tomatoes wasn’t it!!! Sadly we’ve only got the odd one or two left on our plants. Will have to nip to the farm shop and stock up to make this!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd September 2018

      Glad you did well with yours to Emma. Homegrown tomatoes are such a treat.

  9. Leave a Reply

    Louise Fairweather
    23rd September 2018

    I have made my own salsa but never tomato sauce. I bet this tastes amazing. Thanks for linking up #cookblogshare

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd September 2018

      Tomato sauce all ready and waiting for just when you need it is the bees knees.

  10. Leave a Reply

    Claire Jessiman
    24th September 2018

    Alas I’ve never had success with growing tomatoes but vividly recall from my childhood the amazing smell of them in my grandfathers greenhouse. What a great way to preserv their taste over the winter months.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      24th September 2018

      Thanks Claire. I expect it’s a bit trickier growing tomatoes up in the cold North 😉 Tomatoes remind me of my grandfather too. He used to work in a tomato nursery.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Dems Banjo
    24th September 2018

    Hmmmm, very interesting! I love this idea Choclette, thanks for sharing.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      24th September 2018

      Hopefully it’s delicious and practical as well as interesting 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      26th September 2018

      Thank you. There’ll be plenty of dishes needing this sauce for sure. Just wish I could make more of it.

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