One of my favorite staple meals is spaghetti. I think the best tasting spaghetti sauce comes from fresh tomatoes, garlic and herbs. There is something gratifying about making spaghetti sauce from scratch that elevates the flavor. Plus the aromatics that results from cooking with fresh ingredients certainly helps the overall experience. Your house will feel warm, fragrant and inviting, much like an Italian restaurant.
Spaghetti Sauce From Scratch
When I first started making spaghetti sauce from scratch, I did so because I had a bounty of fresh tomatoes from our garden that I needed to do something with. I was nervous making it from whole tomatoes, but was amazed at how easy it turned out to be. It does take a little more effort and time than opening a jar, but that investment is well worth it.
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Makes 4 servings
What You Need:
- 3 pounds ripe tomatoes
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, diced
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
To start, we need to peel the tomatoes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut a shallow “x” on the flowering end of each tomato. Once the water is boiling, place the tomatoes into the boiling water for 20-40 seconds until the skin is starting to crack. Immediately remove from water and place into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Reserve water to cook pasta in.
Once the tomatoes are cooled, you should be able to easily remove the skin. If you want to skip the boiling step and simply peel the tomatoes with a peeler, you can certainly do that as well.
Remove the cores and roughly dice the tomatoes:
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, thyme and basil, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. Using a spatula, periodically press down on the tomatoes to help break them down. Add salt and pepper to taste.
15 minutes before serving, warm up your salted water and cook the pasta according to package directions.
If you like a chunkier sauce, you can serve it as is and toss it with fresh pasta. If you like a smooth sauce, simply pour the mix into a blender and blend until smooth.
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This sauce has a fresh, rich flavor that stands up on its own with pasta. It also pairs nicely with cooked ground beef or sausage, if your family likes a meat sauce. The color will be a bit more orange than jarred spaghetti sauce, since it is made from whole tomatoes.
Have you ever made spaghetti sauce from scratch? What do you like to put spaghetti sauce on besides pasta?