Basic Marinara Sauce (Made with Fresh Garden Tomatoes)

Over the past few months,I have filled my wheel barrel with vegetables more times than I can count.

My patience with the tomatoes proved fruitful.  I still have boxes of tomatoes in the garage waiting to be canned, frozen, or cooked down into more marinara sauce.

You’ve probably noticed I’ve been absent from my blog.  I didn’t want to waste a thing from the gardens.  I’ve been freezing, canning, dehydrating, cooking, and baking.

I started with a small batch of tomatoes, and I made some marinara to freeze.

First I rinse the tomatoes.  I never use chemicals in the garden, so the rinsing is simply to remove loose dust.

I then cut a small x-slit in the bottom of the tomatoes.

Next, I drop them–approx. 6-8 at a time— into boiling water.  I replace the lid and leave in for about 2-3 minutes.  I work in batches.

I quickly remove the tomatoes and drop them into a large bowl filled with water and ice cubes.  The skins will slip right off with a bit of a rubbing, and then I plop the peeled tomatoes into the food processor.  You may chop them if you do not have a food processor.  Some people simply throw them in the pan and allow to cook down and break up with a wooden spoon–this will give you a chunky sauce.

Now I have my smoothly chopped tomatoes ready to cook down.  Some people choose to remove the seeds with a seive, but Mark and I don’t mind them.  I have tried it both ways, and really don’t notice the bitterness some people do.

I toss a few minced cloves of garlic and some crushed red pepper flakes (opt) into about 1/4 cup heated of olive oil. 

Add the tomatoes and bring to a gentle boil.  Simmer for about 45 minutes.  Toss in some fresh chopped basil and any other seasonings.  You may also add salt and a little sugar if you like.  I keep it simple in order to make it work later in a variety of dishes.

Freeze in 2 cup containers.

This batch made about 8 cups of marinara sauce. 

I serve it re-heated over cooked pasta and top with fresh grated parmesan reggiano, over chicken parmesan, use it as a soup base for minestrone or other soups, you can add cream for creamy tomato soup, add oregano and a bit of sugar for pizza sauce, and a variety of  other recipes–be creative.  Don’t forget a glass of vino!

NOTE: Italian plum tomatoes are best for sauces, but I use plum mixed with my Early Girls.  My plum varieties include: Juliet and Mama Mia’s.



5 thoughts on “Basic Marinara Sauce (Made with Fresh Garden Tomatoes)

  1. Oh wow…I’m in awe of your vegetables! lol
    I never thought of making tomato sauces & freezing them…hmmm…if only I’d thought of that last year when we had lots of tomatoes from the Mother in law!
    I shall be saving this one…thanks! xx

  2. I cannot wait to try this recipe and appreciate you posting it. You’ve also inspired me to remember to plant Autumn vegetables and squash next year.

    I’ve missed you – but what a beautiful thing to be doing.

    I also love your new header picture. You find the BEST things. Love your table.

  3. JULIA: yes, make a huge batch and freeze it up for a quick and easy dinner 🙂 xoxo

    MAVEN: Thanks about the header 🙂 I found the stainless stell pumpkin at–where else?–the thrift shop 🙂 Yes, you can grow squash in half barrels too. I have a few trailing butternut squash right now. Last year I did my pumpkins that way too.

    KIM: Those pumpkins made the BEST pepitoes I’ve ever eaten in my life! Thanks 🙂

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