Shhh..... I have a secret to share with you. My Dad makes this fabulous spaghetti sauce, though its actually a meat sauce with meatballs. The meatballs are the really special part, but the sauce isn't so shabby either. I'll save the meatballs for another day.We had such a surplus of tomatoes from the garden, I needed to do something with them. I whipped up a batch of the family-recipe-sauce (minus the meat) to freeze, replacing the canned tomatoes with fresh romas from the garden. If you want to use fresh tomatoes, you will need to skin and seed them first. This task was a little tedious since my romas were so small - I had so many to do! To make peeling the tomatoes easier, place them in boiling water for a couple minutes until the skins start to crack, then move them to a bowl of cold water. The skins should peel right off. I then cut them in half and thumbed out the guts/seeds, and dropped them in the blender.
The seasoning below is approximate - my dad doesn't know exactly what quantities he adds, and I just estimated based on the below amounts. So season to your own tastes! This recipe made 12 cups of sauce for me - I froze them in Ziploc bags, 2 cups per bag. I'll be submitting this recipe to Joelen's Tasty Tools Event for September, which features stock pots!
Homemade Marinara Sauce
family recipe, makes approx. 12 cups
1 large + 1 small can tomato paste
1 large + 1 small can water
4 large cans whole tomatoes, blended (I used ~14 cups fresh roma tomatoes)
2 Tbsp. italian seasoning
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil (I had fresh on had, so I tossed in a few tablespoons)
2 bay leaves (remove before freezing/serving)
2 tsp. parsley
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional: add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese to sauce
Optional: saute some onion/garlic/green pepper in a little olive oil and add if desired
1. Combine tomato paste and water in a large stock pot and stir over medium heat for 30 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes and spices. Cook uncovered over low heat for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. (I placed the lid kind of half-on to try and minimize the sputtering mess this can make...)
3. Remove bay leaves. Add parmesan cheese, and garlic/green pepper/onion if using.
4. Serve or freeze. (This probably could be canned also if you look up directions for canning a similar type of recipe.)
There is nothing quite like homemade marinara sauce! The only think I added to this batch was the parmesan cheese, but you can always add some sauted veggies or meat/meatballs before serving. Also, if you like a chunky sauce, only blend half the tomatoes and leave the other half diced. Enjoy!