With a dearth of tomato pasta sauce at supermarkets due to COVID, now is the best time to learn how to make a delicious home made tomato pasta sauce. This recipe uses tinned or fresh tomatoes and is so delicious and easy you may never buy it again!
Why is this tomato pasta sauce so good? This recipe comes from my Italian chef friend and food twin Monica from Lulus Sydney who makes it often. Monica bases it on the famous tomato pasta sauce recipe from Marcella Hazan but adds her own flair so that it can definitely be called her own. The beauty of this recipe is that you oven roast the tomatoes so there's no stirring on the stovetop. Oven roasting also brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes and onions.
There's only a few ingredients needed. All you need are: tomatoes and you can use fresh or tinned, onions, garlic, anchovies and butter or oil. The anchovies are Monica's touch and they are to add a depth of flavour rather than fishiness to the sauce.
Which tomatoes? At this point any tomatoes will do! Roma, round or tinned tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes can also work. You can also use whole peeled tinned tomatoes instead of crushed. If you can get San Marzano tinned tomatoes use these (these Italian plum tomatoes are sweeter, with less acidity and fewer seeds than other varieties).
Optional flavours: add chilli flakes, fresh chillies, olives, capers or basil. My favourite combination was the tinned tomato pasta sauce that was unblended with sliced black olives. I also popped in a few basil leaves on top of every jar of the pasta sauce before I closed the lid.
Vegan Tomato Pasta Sauce: this tomato pasta sauce can easily be made vegan-see recipe below. I honestly could not choose one that I'd prefer over the other because I added olives and chilli flakes to the vegan one to boost the flavour.
Please note: blending your sauce will make it lighter and more red-orange in colour. If you want that vibrant dark red, keep it unblended and chop up the tomatoes a bit smaller.
Which pasta sauce is better: tinned or fresh? I found the fresh tomatoes sweeter but preferred the flavour intensity of the tinned tomatoes. But then again I'm someone that has been known to eat tomato paste because I love tomatoes so damn much.
Can you preserve these jars of tomato pasta sauce? Yes!! To preserve or bottle your jars of sauce do the following. The jars of pasta sauce will last for 2 years.
1 - Start with clean jars and lids
2 - Ladle the sauce into the jars leaving 1cm or half an inch space from the top. Wipe rims with clean cloth and screw the lids on tightly.
3 - Place the jars in a large preserving pan (or use a tall pot) with simmering water that covers the top of the jars. Simmer for 45 minutes. Cool and then remove from the water. These bottled pasta sauces can now last for up to 2 years.
Label your jars with dated labels. I found these cute free labels online at Paper and Pear.
I used up several precious tins of tomatoes and made myself a few big batches of this sauce I loved it so much. There is a current limit on tinned tomatoes, although not fresh so go wild!
Nina and Garth have been hoarding, well their version of it. Garth tasked Nina with purchasing things for Armageddon however things didn't exactly go according to plan.
Nina returned from shopping with two bags of pasta and four tins of tomatoes. "What this? How is that supposed to last us for 2 weeks?" Garth asked incredulously. "I thought we'd have to reduce the amount we ate if we couldn't go out," said Nina.
Then when it came to using the tinned tomatoes Garth wanted to pour the straight tinned tomatoes over pasta. Nina stopped him. "I think we're supposed to do something with the tomatoes," she said uncertainly. I asked Nina what happened. Did they end up eating it or making the tinned tomatoes into a sauce?
"It's still in the tins. It will remain there forever," she responded.
So tell me Dear Reader, what is your favourite type of pasta sauce: tomato or cream based? What have you found difficult to procure?