Monday, August 24, 2009

Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce (in the crockpot!)

I have always wanted to try my hand at homemade spaghetti sauce. Unfortunately, tomatoes usually come into season here just as soon as the temps reach 90+ degrees, with the humidity 80% or more. Yeah - not exactly the type of weather that you want to be boiling something on the stove for hours in. This year, the hot weather stayed at bay for a while, but all of the tomatoes at our CSA succumbed to blight! I went to another local farm last week to get some corn and saw they had a bunch of wonderfully ripe tomatoes.

Of course, by then, it was hotter than hades. But then dawned on me. The crockpot! So I loaded up my bag with tomatoes and happily headed home. The next day I picked up the herbs I needed from the CSA and a few other ingredients and set about making some sauce. I looked at a bunch of recipes online, but nothing really spoke to me. So I decided to wing it. Dangerous, maybe, but I figure, if you put good stuff in, you get good stuff out. Four hours later, I turned out to be right! We had a bunch of bright, fresh, delicious chunky tomato sauce. First we used it on pizza, and tonight, we had it over spaghetti noodles.

Wow, wow, wow. I don't know how I'll ever go back to the jar stuff again. I'm planning to go get a bunch more tomatoes this week and try my hand at canning. We'll see how that goes...

Here's the recipe for

Crockpot Tomato Basil Sauce

(Makes about 8 cups)

Ingredients
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, chopped
8 cups chopped tomatoes*
2-3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4-5 grinds fresh pepper
3 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
3/4 c. fresh basil, chopped
12 oz. tomato paste

*I partially peeled my tomatoes with a vegetable peeler. For the really ripe ones, I left most of the peel on because it didn't want to come off. Apparently, you can par boil the tomatoes to help the skin come off more easily, but I was avoiding boiling anything that day... You can also leave the peels on entirely!

Method
Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of the crockpot. Add garlic, turn crockpot to high and cook 10-15 minutes until garlic starts to become fragrant.
Add pepper, tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir to mix. Cover, turn heat down to low and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
At the 3 1/2-4 hour mark, add in oregano, parsley, basil and tomato paste and continue cooking for another hour.

If you like a chunky sauce -you're done! Of you prefer something smoother, you can run it through a blender or food processor.

UPDATE: I should have noted that this sauce freezes very well. I separated it into 2 cup containers and froze the majority of it. The sauce on the spaghetti above was frozen and then reheated. I did leave some in the fridge and it easily lasted 4 days with no issues.

23 comments:

Jenn said...

Homemade sauces are the best. I've never tried making mine a cropck pot before. I should try they give me more time to cook other things that than having to watch the pot ever few minutes. Nice!!

Tangled Noodle said...

This is amazing!! I've also wanted to make my own sauce but I love that this is set and go! 8-) How long do you think this would keep without canning? I'm hoping to learn how to can - my MIL has promised to show me! 8-)

ValleyWriter said...

Tangled - I should have noted that I actually froze a lot of this batch - and it freezes just fine. So if you need to hold off for more than 3-4 days - I'd say just throw it in the freezer. (I separated mine into containers with 2 cups of sauce each, just enough for 2 people.)

Ricardo said...

Looks delicious thank you for sharing ...kisses xxx Rico|Recipes

Debra said...

It looks great! Thanks for sharing.

Chef Nash said...

Hi.. I love everything home made, btw... can I have a look at your crockpot?... nice ones, and I love Spagheetti too, can just make laska curry out of it... ;)

Jessie said...

ohhh i love my crock pot but i have never thought to make tomato sauce in it. I definitely have to try this recipe!

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

I haven't used my crock pot in a while. And I have never made tomato sauce in it. What a great idea! I'll have to make this!

CheapAppetite said...

your sauce looks amazing. Normally I'd rather use pasta sauce from the jar, but using crockpot is a good idea. I may attempt this recipe in the near future:) Thanks for sharing.

myblissfulbites said...

Nothing beats homemade pasta sauce. Great idea to make in a crockpot! Thanks for sharing :)

becky said...

Thanks for sharing...it is in the crockpot as I type!

Jennifa.g said...

This recipe is fabulous and easy. This was my first homemade sauce and I am not going back to jar again! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This is a great sauce. I love that it is made from fresh tomatoes -- not one of the usual "homemade" recipes that calls for canned tomatoes. Yuk.
I made a couple of modifications drawing on my father-in-law's ancient secret recipe. I added sliced black olives, red wine, and a boat load of dill weed. Yes -- dill. Try it. You'll see.

Anonymous said...

Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

dodgerfan4life6 said...

In the crockpot now....my husband bought too many tomatoes at the farmers market....so sauce it is I did not have green pepper so have added zucchini instead....I am sure it will taste great....thanks for the recipe

Jennifer said...

I found 49 small tomatoes for $3. I've got my sauce in the crock pot now! The only fresh herb I had on hand was basil from my garden, but it smells absolutely wonderful! :)

ValleyWriter said...

I accidently deleted a comment that I meant to publish. Thanks Nina!!
Nina has left a new comment on your post "Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce (in the crockpot!)":

Just made it. excellent!

Kacey said...

I just made this today and it turned out WONDERFULLY!!! Thanks!

Becky said...

I found your recipe last week and the sauce was wonderful! I did make a few changes due too what I had, but this was the basis. My neighbor gave me 1/2 bushel or more tomatoes yesterday, so more sauce is in the crock pot now. Thank you!

Dave said...

I substituted roasted poblano peppers. Yumm! Thanks

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I love the fresh ingredients. I am subbing honey for the sugar and using sea salt. Thank u for sharing. This one goes in my recipe book! :)

MamaCat said...

I just found your recipe, and I am wondering if brown sugar would work in place of white sugar?

Amber Gabrenas said...

Yes MamaCat - brown sugar would work great!