Homemade Spicy Tomato Sauce
Ahh, another manic Monday where I certainly do not feel like spending much time in the kitchen. Most nights, I’m all about boiling pasta and opening a jar of delicious homemade tomato sauce I’ve stashed away in the cupboard for emergencies such as this.
This weeks recipe is brought to you straight from my vegetable garden, where for some odd reason, more than six different varietals of tomatoes were planted this spring. Fortunately, they’re not all popping off at the same time so my family isn’t being completely overwhelmed by tomatoes all at once… but we still have more tomatoes than we can possibly eat!
One of my favorite ways to use up fresh tomatoes is by making tomato sauce with the intention of being used in various pasta dishes and in other recipes where tomato sauce is called for… and for dunking toasted bagels into but that’s getting off topic.
Since I started making and canning) this tomato sauce last summer, I haven’t purchased a single jar of tomato sauce from the grocery store, which is awesome if you’re the type of person who wants to know exactly what is in what you’re eating. I’m looking at you mister crop duster who has been buzzing over my house for the last 25 minutes spraying the field down the road. Depending oio your preferences or needs, this sauce can either be made chunky or smooth. Since the tomatoes are tossed into a food processor prior to being cooked it is a simple fix one way or the other.
This spring, back when we were deciding what to plant, I was so excited to see that hot and spicy oregano existed. One of my most favorite things in the world is a spicy tomato sauce and I figure that using oregano would be such a wonderful way to accomplish my ideal flavor payoff. If you can’t find hot and spicy oregano, you can simply use basil and some red pepper flakes. Any tomatoes you have chosen to grow in your garden this year should be fine; I used a combination of red butcher and some cherry tomatoes. To make approximately four cups of sauce, I use 3 pounds of tomatoes prior to cooking.
Depending upon the varietal of tomatoes you use, you might have to add or subtract granulated sugar to the recipe.
Aside from being able to make this sauce in large batches, my favorite thing about this spicy tomato sauce is how perfectly it pairs with one of my go-to wines: Sangiovese. If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know what Sangiovese is, it’s also referred to as Chianti, which you have no doubt seen on the menu of your favorite Italian restaurant. Sangiovese is an ideal medium-bodied red for a couple of reasons: 1) it’s not usually that expensive and 2) it’s not easily overwhelmed by the acidity of tomato-based sauces.
For $30 from Niner Wine Estates in Paso Robles, this Sangiovese blend (95% Sangiovese and 5% Barbara), is silky smooth and the contents of the bottle disappears quickly—so buy two bottles!
My second choice is a typical Super Tuscan from Vino Noceto is $25 and has been gifted to me on several occasions. It is complex in both flavor and aroma but damn is it delicious. Vino Noceto has proudly claimed they produce the best Sangiovese in all of California.
- 4 pounds roughly chopped assorted tomatoes
- 5 minced garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped hot and spicy oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- to taste salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil
- 1, roughly chopped green bell pepper