Super Simple Homemade Tomato Sauce!
But Why Make Homemade?
You might wonder why you should bother spending time making homemade tomato sauce when there are so many kinds of premade sauces at the store. I understand! My roommates asked me the same thing when I first made this.
The answer is simple! For starters, the flavors come through so much better with a homemade sauce. Sure, premade sauces come in many different "flavors," but I guarantee nothing beats that homemade taste. Second, this recipe is so versatile! I have done plenty of experimenting with this sauce, and this recipe is by far my favorite.
Personally, I love to make this sauce with the addition of some lemon-garlic sauteed shrimp. I'll include that recipe toward the bottom of the article, as it is extremely simple and quick, but so many other things can be added to personalize this recipe to your unique tastes and preferences. For instance, one of my roommates likes it best when I make it with sliced lemon butter marinated chicken. However, my mother prefers it on its own, with no add-ins. This recipe is very versatile and can be used however you would like!
By the way, I know this seems like a whole lot of ingredients, but it is still really easy to put together. You can do it!
- 2 (28-ounce) cans whole plum tomatoes, chopped in their juices
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- Sprinkle parsley flakes
- Sprinkle Italian seasoning
- Heat up olive oil in a large skillet or pan on medium heat.
- Add the onion to the pan, stirring to coat. Add salt, garlic, bay leaf, and oregano. let cook for 10 minutes or until translucent, stirring frequently.
- Add tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes. While the tomato paste is simmering, chop the canned tomatoes in their own juices. I prefer to use a baking dish or another skillet to make sure I am able to chop in the juice without it being too hard to chop, but use whatever you are comfortable with!
- After 5 minutes has passed, add in chopped tomatoes and their juices.
- Add in remaining seasonings and stir together. Let sauce simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
- After 1 hour has passed, your sauce is ready! Remove the bay leaf before serving, and use whatever pasta you would like. I personally prefer to use bowtie pasta.
Sauteed Shrimp Addition
I mentioned above that I love to make this sauce with my own form of lemon and garlic sauteed shrimp. Now, this doesn't come with some super complicated process, and it is not the most conventional method, but what can I say. I tried it on a whim one day and it turned out pretty well!
- 2 pounds cooked, deveined and de-tailed extra small shrimp
- Garlic powder, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Lemon juice, to taste
- Parsley flakes, to taste
Note about measurements: All seasonings are to taste! There is no set amount, although my personal recommendation would be 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, a sprinkle of parsley flakes, and a generous amount of lemon juice.
- Pour all shrimp into a strainer or colander and run under cold water for about 10-15 minutes, or until completely thawed.
- Once the sprimp is thawed, sprinkle the desired amount of seasonings over them. Toss to coat. Once coated in seasoning, pour in the lemon juice and toss once again. This allows excess juice to go through the strainer or colander instead of making its way directly into the sauce.
- Prior to you starting to cook your chosen pasta, add the shrimp to the still simmering sauce. This will allow the shrimp to warm and cook completely. By the time your pasta has finished, your shrimp will have absorbed the flavor of the sauce, and you are now ready to serve!