Made From Scratch :: Pasta Sauce

Tomato Sauce
  • 4 28.2-ounce cans of diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 6 T olive oil
  • 10 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-3 T kosher salt
  • 1/4 c lightly packed dried basil

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat.
Add the garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic is golden and softened (don’t let it burn), 5 to 10 min.

Tomato Sauce

Pour in the tomatoes with their juices.
Bring to a boil over medium high, stirring frequently, and then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Tomato Sauce

Add the salt (I start with 2 T) and basil and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced and thickened. This could take as few as 20 minutes or as much as two hours. Mine usually clocks in around one hour, maybe a little more.

Pasta Sauce

Now is the time to make this sauce taste the way you want. Before adding anything taste it first, you may need to add some more salt or even some sugar — if you use good quality tomatoes you generally shouldn’t need to use any sugar. We like garlic so I often add a cube or two of frozen garlic scape pesto from the summer. Chopped sun or oven-dried tomatoes would be yummy. Certainly any herbs you particularly love would be welcome.

Pasta Sauce

The next step is to divide the sauce into your containers of choice. I generally go with zip-top bags filled with two cups of sauce — a jar of pasta sauce has just over three cups of sauce. You should get about 14 cups from this recipe. Let it cool a little and then off to the freezer and you’ll have homemade sauce for about seven meals. So to compare:

Muir Glen Pasta Sauce = $0.17/per ounce*
Homemade Pasta Sauce = $0.12/per ounce** (and it tastes better too)

*($4.29 for 25.5 ounce jar)
**($2.79 per 28oz can Muir Glen Diced Tomatoes, $1.19 per 1/4c jar of basil from Penzey’s, $1.50 for the garlic, olive oil, and salt = $13.85 for 112 ounces)

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8 Responses to “Made From Scratch :: Pasta Sauce”


  1. 1 Courtney February 18, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    mmmmm…..looks yummy….

  2. 3 molly February 18, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    I was just thinking friday night, as I made spaghetti for supper, that my mom used to make it from scratch and it would simmer all day on the stovetop.And it was so good. So I’m anxious to try this!

    I love the freezer aspect too. Always helpful. And the cost breakdown!!

  3. 4 stef February 18, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    That sauce sounds great. Tip for not burning garlic: put minced garlic and olive oil in cold pan, then place on stovetop and heat together gently.

  4. 5 erin February 19, 2008 at 9:10 am

    yum. gotta try this.

  5. 6 Lasso the Moon February 19, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Oh, wow. That looks so yummy.
    Thanks for the price breakdown.
    Love that.
    –Anna

  6. 7 emily February 19, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    i frequently make sauce for dinner – but i never make big batches and freeze it like that. so smart. i’ll be trying your recipe, too.

  7. 8 katie February 23, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    that looks so grest! so does everything else!


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