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Pomodoro Tomato Basil Sauce

There aren't a lot of things that I'm a food snob about. But pasta sauce is one of them. I have a really difficult time eating jarred red pasta sauce. (I also have a difficult time with globby ranch. Because I know secretly, you care.) This pasta sauce has chunks of a variety of tomatoes, and strong basil and balsamic vinegar flavors. I love it! It’s not a marinara sauce, although it can be put in all of the dishes that marinara can. (Marinara has peppers, tomatoes, onions and a variety of other things pureed into the sauce. Here, I dice the tomatoes and let them cook down. It has a similar but different consistency; one that I significantly prefer.) It goes great with linguini noodles. Which is how we often serve it, with Italian turkey sausage links. I've also used it when I make chicken parmesan. Pretty much everything you use marinara for, you can use this sauce for.

This recipe makes about 5 or 6 regular size mason jars of pomodoro sauce. If you know how to can great, if not, I will give you a shaky walk through at the end. I'm no professional, but it gets the job done. I'll put it this way. I just now purchased a canning kit. Up until a few weeks ago, I pretty much used random kitchen utensils, burning myself and making a huge mess along the way.)


4 beefsteak tomatoes

12 roma tomatoes

2 10.5 oz containers of golden tomatoes (could use grape or cherry)

2 oz of fresh basil

14-17 garlic cloves (about 1 1/2 heads)

14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes (drained)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp salt

2 tbsp pepper

red pepper flakes (optional)


1. Toss all of the cut up tomatoes into a large and deep sauce pan. You will want to cut the beefsteak and roma tomatoes small (less than a 1/4 inch). Quarter the golden tomatoes and add them to the pan. (You can refer to the picture above as a reference for tomato size.)

2. Add the oil and the vinegar to the pan and stir.

3. Add minced or crushed garlic.

4. Drain and then puree the canned tomatoes in a food processor. Add them to the pan.

5. Mince the basil and add it to the pan on the stove top.

6. Add the salt and pepper. If you want to add kick you can always add a tbs of red pepper flakes. (But since this mixture is going to cook down for so long, I would add it slowly and minimally.)

7. Let the water cook out of the tomatoes, reducing, for roughly 90 minutes. You want to cook them on a medium heat. High enough that you can see the water vapor leaving the tomatoes, but low enough that it isn't bubbling over onto your stove top.

8. Continue stirring the sauce until finished (roughly 90 minutes.) Yeah, it’s a little timely. But once you've gotten past the pain of cutting up all the tomatoes, the effort gets pretty minimal.

If you're going to can the sauce, which you should unless you're serving a large dinner and using it all quickly, you're going to need a few mason jars and a deep pot. Grab canning tongs and a small canning kit if you can. They're only about $10. If not, you can improvise. I have.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.

Open up the mason jars and lids, sanitizing them in the boiling water for 5-10 minutes.

Fill the jars with the sauce and put the lids on tightly.

Place the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.

When you remove them from water, and they have cooled, you will know they are sealed properly if you push down on the center of the lid and it doesn’t make a popping sound.

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