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If there is one thing that I cannot live without in my freezer (besides beef, of course!), it is my homemade tomato sauce. This recipe is the base for the vast majority of my ground beef recipes.
Also, it is super easy. Because when it comes to big batch cooking, I am super lazy. And I hate canning. So it needs to be easy, delicious, and freezable. Another bonus – it uses up all the questionable (but pre-moldy) veggies in my fridge that I probably wouldn’t use otherwise. Oh, and the other best part of this recipe? No recipe! I have never once measured what I put in. And it has never failed. Yet.
Every fall, I make a half a dozen batches of this sauce as my garden tomatoes ripen. I use Roma style tomatoes, because they are less juicy and more meaty, so you don’t have to boil down your sauce for as long, and their sugar content will give you a better tasting sauce.
Here is what is (very approximately) in my pot today:
- 12 cups tomatoes
- 2 cups carrots
- 2 onions
- 2 cups red pepper
- 6 gloves garlic
- Handful of mushrooms
Other than the mushrooms, this is the standard base. If I didn’t have these things on hand, I would go and buy them. Other veggies I may add include:
- Spicy peppers
- Whatever else cranks your fancy
I chop everything up and throw it in a stock pot. Under medium-low, I bring it to a boil and let it simmer for a couple hours.
Once it is all smushy, and even the hardest veggie (usually carrots) are soft, transfer to your blender. Yep. Blender. None of those hand crank torture devices known as tomato presses. They suck. And you lose all the really good-for-you fibre in the veggies. And they make a mess. And I am lazy.
Blend on high for a few minutes until there is not a chunk to be seen. Because eeww, chunks.
Put back in a pot and add a 1/4 cup or so of Italian spices. I also add my favourite garlic mix, Johnny’s. Add salt, pepper, and a few table spoons of sugar.
If your tomatos are on the watery side, you may need to low boil until you reach a good consistency.
Cool, freeze in baggies, and you are done!
Now you are prepped to make hamburger soup, lasagne, spaghetti and meat sauce, and on and on.