Sunday, September 6, 2009

Update on Tomato Sauce

I let the sauce cook all night. It did thicken up quite a bit. I think that was the key. Just letting it simmer for hours, letting all the water evaporate. BUT, unfortunately it tasted really really bitter. I messed with it for a loong time. Adding sugar, spices, everything Google suggested. It still tasted really bad.

I would suggest not using just cherry tomatoes for tomato sauce. If you do, make sure you have a good mixture of other tomatoes to add to it like Romas etc. That way you get more flavor and pulp to your sauce.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions.


  1. Sorry it didn't turn out; that's frustrating. I haven't made sauce from fresh tomatoes, but I have cooked sauce for too long. It does get bitter.

    I think that using meatier tomatoes like Roma would help. Hope you get a better result next time!

  2. Aww, I'm sorry. I usually just cut up tomatoes and puree them skin, seeds, and all. I promise, you can't tell and it adds vitamins and helps it to thicken better. Definitely saves time, too. You are on the right track, so don't be afraid to try again!

  3. yes, paste tomatoes are key. amish paste are what we always use. one year we used early girl, and they were fine. my cherry tomatoes were bitter when i tried to dry them, too. maybe they're only good fresh...

  4. I make my own tomato sauce all the time, and I like it really thick, so I thought I'd share my method.

    I use both canned or fresh tomatoes, whichever I have on hand. For fresh tomatoes, I blanch them and remove the skin. For canned whole, peeled tomatoes i run them through the blender. Sometime I'll use canned petite diced or canned italian stewed tomatoes and then I don't have to use the blender (hate washing that thing, the blade freaks me out.) Drain off some of the liquid and keep it to add if the sauce starts to get too thick.

    I start with a large sauce pan on medium/high heat. Add olive oil and let it heat til the oil moves freely in the pan. Chop up some onions (red are best) and add them. You can also chop up garlic, or a cheaper option is to add garlic powder later. You can also add things like chopped up carrots, celery or red peppers for more nutrients and extra flavor.

    Cook the onions (and / or garlic, vegetables), until they are lightly browned and tender. Then, turn the heat down to medium and add your tomatoes. Stir it all together, add some seasonings and just keep cooking until the tomatoes are breaking down to the consistency you want.

    To stretch it out, you can add canned tomato sauce. Sometimes I will buy cheap pasta sauce in a jar if it's on sale -- I never eat it as is though, I just use it to thicken up home made sauce.

    If the sauce is getting too thick, add vegetable stock or the leftover juice.

    I have a basil plant and like to toss in a few chopped up leaves right at the end.

    The bitterness problem you had was probably based on the kind of tomatoes. Tomato paste can help with that because it's so sweet. I don't usually use it, but if you do, look for the kind in a tube. It lasts longer because you can use only the amount you want without half a can left over!

    Buon appetite!

  5. I have been making tons of tomato sauce this summer and I have discovered that after blanching/skinning/coring I can just squeeze the tomato with both hands and most of the seeds and jelly will come out and cuts the cooking time by a bunch. Make sure you wear an apron!