Everyone needs a great tomato sauce recipe in their repertoire! And this is one of those recipes. And it’s a family favourite in my house. I have made this recipe since I was a kid, and it has hardly changed for as many years!
We eat pasta once a week. Not only because it is a favourite, but because it can be a quick and easy meal on those busy weeknights.
I like my tomato sauce smooth and thick. I don’t want a bunch of fuss in my plate. You can be make with or without meat; depending on your preference. If you choose to add meat, you can choose back ribs, beef bones, sausages or meatballs.
Note: for meatballs, if you add them to the sauce formed but uncooked, they will cook in the sauce and make the softest meatballs ever! (Recipe coming soon!)
Of course, if you prefer to make this a vegetarian tomato sauce recipe, you can simply eliminate any meat and just make it with the veggies.
This recipe makes more than you need for one meal and freezes easily. I use plastic jars and freeze until I need a quick weeknight meal! But you can reduce the amount of strained tomatoes you use, and make it for one night only. (My thought is, if you’re going to cook something for 3-4 hours, you might as well make a big pot of it, to save time later on) I usually make this once a month or so, giving my family enough meals for pasta once a week.
Finally, I use a combination of strained tomatoes our family jars every year, plus the strained tomato jars from the grocery store. This way, if the water content is higher in our homemade jars, it is balanced out by the store-bought tomatoes. But it’s up to you what combination you use, if any.
Serve with any type of pasta you like!
Easy and delicious tomato sauce
- 1 onion
- 2-3 carrots
- 1-2 celery stalks
- 3-5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3-5 jars strained tomatoes
- 1-2 rack of ribs optional (can make meat-free) OR choose alternate meat, like sausage, beef bones, meatballs, etc.
- 1-2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1-2 tbsp basil paste or 3-4 leaves fresh basil
- 1-2 tsp dry basil
- 1-2 tsp dry oregano
- olive oil extra virgin
- Peel and cut carrots in half. Wash and cut celery in half.Peel onion and leave wholePeel garlic and leave whole
- Add olive oil to large pot and once heated, add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook for a few minutes.
- Add strained tomatoes (3-6 jars or more, depending on pot) and cover. Bring to a boil and let bubble for an hour.
- Meanwhile, cut ribs and in a separate pan, add small amount of oil and brown
- Once brown, remove from pan and cool
- Once sauce is bubbling, add tomato paste and stir. Reduce to a simmer for 2 hours
- Remove cooked onion, carrots, celery and garlic from pot. (Optional: You can blend vegetables together and stir back into the sauce. I used to do this to hide the veggies from my kids. It makes for a bit of a sweeter sauce.) Stir in seasoning: basil (paste or fresh), dry oregano and basil.
- Add handful of salt
- Add in cooled ribs and simmer for 1 more hour
- Boil water for pasta and cook as per directions. Serve pasta with sauce and meat
- Remove all meat from sauce and freeze remaining sauce! Freeze for up to 6 months for quick and easy weeknight meals.
- NOTE: When you want to use sauce, thaw in fridge and heat. Serve with your favourite pasta! (it is not recommended to freeze with meat)