Simple Homemade Tomato Sauce

It’s time again for the big Secret Recipe Club Reveal (check out the SRC website to learn all about it!)

This month, it was my pleasure to cook from Joanna’s blog, Cairns Manor.  Joanna shares so many great recipes; it was difficult to choose just one!  I loved the variety of recipes I found on her blog, and I know others will as well.

From her blog, I chose to make a stunning tomato sauce.  It reminded me of a sauce I had tried previously, but I loved the idea of the flavor infused olive oil in this recipe.  And let me tell you – it was wonderful!  This sauce makes me never want to buy jarred sauce again!  

Recipe Notes:
*The original recipe calls for fresh basil. While that would be nice, I opted to use dried herbs in my sauce since it is December and my garden is all shriveled up.
*Play around with any of your favorite fresh or dried herbs in this recipe.  It lends itself well to experimentation.

Simple Homemade Tomato Sauce
Adapted from Cairns Manor

4 lbs Roma tomatoes
1 tsp coarse salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 pinches red pepper flakes (about ¼ tsp)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary

Begin by blanching and peeling the tomatoes.  To blanch, bring a large stock pot of water to a boil.  Set a bowl of ice water on the counter next to the pot.

Cut a small X onto the bottom of each tomato and drop them into the boiling water for 30 seconds.  Immediately scoop the tomatoes out of the boiling water and plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking (we want to peel the tomatoes, not turn them to mush).  Allow the tomatoes to cool down completely in the ice water.

Once cooled, simply peel the outer layer off with your fingers or use a small paring knife for stubborn bits.

Slice the stem area off and discard (or put in a large freezer bag for vegetable stock).  Cut the tomatoes in quarters, scoop the seeds into a strainer set over a bowl and place the tomatoes in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir in the salt and tomato juice (collected from the seeds) and bring the tomatoes to a boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally and chopping down the larger tomatoes with a spoon.  If you like a smooth sauce, use an immersion blender to puree the tomatoes. 

Continue to cook the tomato sauce over low heat for another 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and herbs in a small saucepan.  Turn the heat to low and allow the oil to heat up very slowly.  Once it begins to simmer, turn the burner off; leaving the pan on the warm burner to finish simmering.

Strain the solids out of the olive oil.  Stir the infused olive oil into the tomato sauce.  Serve over pasta with shredded parmesan cheese.



  1. Great SRC post. I make a roasted tomato sauce that is delish, but I will try this one too for a new homemade treat. Happy Holidays!

  2. Ooooh, that looks wonderful. I love home made tomato sauce and this looks perfect. I'd have to use the dried basil as well since the garden's bedded down for the winter. (Moment of sadness.) Thanks for choosing this perfect recipe!

  3. I'll have to try this - I like the idea of heating up the oil with spices to get more taste.

  4. Homemade Tomato Sauce is so much better than canned!

  5. I'm from Italian grandparents and fresh is the only way to go!

  6. I love Roasted tomatoes. Yummy looking spaghetti. You got a great blog and picked a wonderful recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Love how authentic this recipe is! You are making me hungry. Glad to be part of SRC group C with you. Happy Holidays!!

  8. Wow...this looks like such a simple and delicious sauce! It would make me never buy jar sauce again! And I love a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes in my sauce. Beautiful! : )

  9. Homemade is so much work, but oh is it good.

  10. Great job on the sauce! I give you many kudos for blanching and peeling your tomatoes, I am lazy and pulled out the food mill every time I made this recipe. And the rosemary addition sounds awesome!

  11. I have never made homemade tomato sauce, but this sounds too simple not to! Thanks for sharing :)

  12. I have been looking for a good simple homemade tomato sauce. Will have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Nice! :) I should really make a staple like this at home - it's always much better fresh!


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