Make Your Own: Basic Tomato Sauce

I recently posted simple steps to change the way you eat where I encouraged you to begin to stop buying and start making some items on your own.  I wanted to start with this super easy and versatile tomato sauce. We love Italian food but my husband and I never found a tomato sauce we both liked.  Being fifty percent Italian myself I thought I should simply make my own.  Recently I discovered that some tomato sauce may not even be made from tomatoes but from a concentrate made up of water and tomato paste.  Other sauces are high in sugar, up to 8 to 9 grams per serving. Being fifty percent Italian myself I thought I should simply try my own.  Not only is it healthier but it tastes so much better.  I trusted another Italian girl and chose this recipe from Giada. It is not only delicious but it is so easy to make and freezes wonderfully. I added ground beef to this batch because I was making a sauce for a ziti.  If you do not have time to make your own I would recommend picking up at can of Rao’s.


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter


In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.

Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.

Make Your Own: Basic Tomato Sauce

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