Basic Tomato Sauce To Make At Home

Romans 15:4
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Wednesday  I posted some information about the Five  Mother Sauces.  Tomato Sauce is not considered to be among them, but tomato sauces are a  great part of basic sauces to keep around.  I planned on posting this information yesterday — however, I had too much day at the end of my energy!  Does that ever happen to you?  If so, you will understand the “why” I didn’t even get to the computer yesterday.  I hope you will be able to glean a little bit of new information, maybe something you didn’t know or had forgotten.  Blessings for a good Friday!

I love making homemade tomato sauce and spaghetti sauce.  I like starting out with the tomatoes and by the end of the day having the jars of sauce canned and sitting pretty on the shelf.  I have previously shared My Own Marinara recipe, which I usually can.  The tomato sauce recipes listed below can be used right away or frozen to use later.  Freezing is fast and easy and most tomato sauces can be frozen for up to 6 months without losing their taste. I actually have three basic recipes I like.  I will post two and put a link to a third.

Basic Tomato Sauce

This recipe is so useful, I keep it on hand at all times. It couldn’t be easier to make, and you don’t even need fresh tomatoes (although end of season garden tomatoes are a good use for this recipe).  Use good canned Italian tomatoes, like Progresso. This sauce freezes well, so feel free to double the recipe, so you can put some away.

This works well as a basis for Creole dishes, as it’s seasoned with thyme rather than basil. If you’re making Italian dishes, substitute basil for its distinctive sweetness and perfume.


  • 1 Spanish onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3-ounces extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons dried, crushed
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans of tomatoes, crushed and mixed well with their juices
  • Salt, to taste

Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until translucent, but not brown – about 10 minutes.

  1. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more.
  2. Add the tomatoes.
  3. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to just bubbling, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.
  4. Season with salt, to taste.
  5. Serve immediately, or set aside for further use. The sauce may be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 6 months.

Makes 6 cups


Basic Tomato Sauce #2

Canned Italian plum tomatoes from San Marzano make an excellent sauce, but they can be difficult to find. When you see them, buy a few cans and make a large batch of sauce for the freezer.

Simmer the tomatoes whole and adjust the texture of the sauce during the final blending. Both this and the following fresh tomato sauce can be served with virtually any pasta shape.

Allow about half a cup sauce for two ounces uncooked dried pasta.


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine
  • 1 medium carrot, diced fine
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1 can (35-ounces) Italian plum tomatoes, preferably from San Marzano, with liquid
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a heavy 3 quart saucepan over medium heat.

Stir in the onion, carrot, basil and bay leaf. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

Sauté the vegetables, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and liquid. Reduce the heat to simmering.

Cover the pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer 5 minutes.

Working in batches, process the sauce in a food processor or blender to the desired consistency-about 10 seconds at low speed for a smooth sauce, about 5 seconds at low speed for a medium-coarse sauce, or 3 or 4 quick on/off pulses for a chunky sauce.

To serve, warm the appropriate amount of sauce in a large skillet over low heat while the pasta is cooking.

Adjust the seasoning.

Just before draining the pasta, ladle 2 tablespoons pasta cooking liquid per serving into the skillet.

Drain the pasta thoroughly, add to the skillet and toss to coat.

Divide among warmed serving plates, passing the grated Parmesan or Romano cheese separately.

Makes about 4 cups

NOTE – The sauce will keep refrigerated up to a week and in the freezer up to 3 months. Cool the sauce to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.



The Five Mother Sauces

Psalm 24:4-6       The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,  who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.  5 They will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God their Savior. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.


As promised I am showing off some of the delectable food that we were served on our recent trip.  I hope you enjoy the pictures!  It is a walk down salivary lane for me!  Pork Medallions with Green Hollandaise, Fruit Parfait with Mango Sorbet and Eggs Benedict (which I ate a little too often – oh, they are my favorite!)

I have several recipes I want to share that include sauces of varying kinds.  Since we tasted many of these sauces on foods recently served to us, I think this is a good time to delve into saucing!   I am starting with this information and recipes for the basic 5 “mother sauces” (although there are really 6 if you split out mayonnaise and hollandaise!)  But since I am no culinary expert, I will refer to what is known as the basic five.   If making these sauces seems over-whelming, don’t let it be.  I just started with one, used it a couple times and then went on to the others over time.

A sauce is the crowning glory of any dish. From the basic “five mother sauces”, there are literally hundreds of variations of sauce that are used to dress, compliment, enhance and bring out the flavor of the food it is served with.

According to the ultimate cooking reference book, The New Food Lover’s Companion, by Sharon Tyler Herbst, the French are credited with refining the sophisticated art of sauce-making. The development of various sauces over the years stems from the 19th-century French chef Antonin Carême who evolved an intricate methodology by which hundreds of sauces were classified under one of five “mother sauces.”

Those basic sauces are the white sauce Béchamel, the light stock-based Velouté, the brown stock-based Espagnole; the two basic emulsified sauces, Hollandaise and Mayonnaise; and the oil and vinegar-based Vinaigrette. (Tomato is considered to be among the mother sauces, however, it actually came about later…although it certainly has earned the title since it is the base for a large variety of sauces in today’s cookery.)

The method for preparing the various types of sauces incorporates some of the same techniques. For example, a roux is basic to many of the white and brown sauces. This cooked mixture of flour and fat (usually butter) is an important contribution to the sauce-making art. In addition, these classic sauces have been joined by a plethora of modern-day sauces such as sweet dessert sauces, tomato, pesto and barbecue sauces, as well as a wide variety of gravies.

Always remember that when a sauce is used on a food, it is the first thing to touch the tongue. A sauce is only as good as the ingredients you put into it and the care you take while preparing it. On the other hand, a good sauce does little to make inferior food taste better. Always put a good sauce on good food. Thankfully, we no longer use sauce to mask “off-tasting food” as was once the practice in times before modern refrigeration! Yuck!


(Click on the name of the sauce to open the actual recipe in PDF form.)

Béchamel, the classic white sauce, was named after its inventor, Louis XIV’s steward Louis de Béchamel. The king of all sauces, it is often referred to as a cream sauce because of its appearance and is probably used most frequently in all types of dishes. Made by stirring milk into a butter-flour roux, the thickness of the sauce depends on the proportion of flour and butter to milk.

Veloute with mushrooms

is a stock-based white sauce. It can be made from chicken, veal or fish stock. Enrichments such as egg yolks or cream are sometimes also added.

Espagnole, or brown sauce, is traditionally made of a rich meat stock, a mirepoix of browned vegetables (most often a mixture of diced onion, carrots and celery), a nicely browned roux, herbs and sometimes tomato paste.  Espagnole is used when making a demi-glace.  I personally have never put this much time into the brown sauce or the demi-glace.  But if you are interested, here is a website HEAT AND KNIVES that goes the distance with this recipe!

Hollandaise and Mayonnaise are two sauces that are made with an emulsion of egg yolks and fat.

Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise

Hollandaise is made with butter, egg yolks and lemon juice, usually in a double boiler to prevent overheating, and served warm. It is generally used to embellish vegetables, fish and egg dishes, such as the classic Eggs Benedict (one of my very favorites.)  

Mayonnaise is a thick, creamy dressing that’s an emulsion of vegetable oil, egg yolks, lemon juice or vinegar and seasonings. It is widely used as a spread, a dressing and as a sauce. It’s also used as the base for such mixtures as Tartar Sauce, Thousand Island Dressing, Aïoli, and Remoulade.

Vinaigrette is a sauce made of a simple blend of oil, vinegar, salt and pepper

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

(usually 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar).   More elaborate variations can include any combination of spices, herbs, shallots, onions, mustard, etc. It is generally used to dress salad greens and other cold vegetable, meat or fish dishes.


Constantly stir roux-thickened sauces while cooking to prevent lumps.

If you must leave the sauce for a few seconds, set the pan off the heat during that time.

If a roux-thickened sauce develops a few lumps, beat them out with a rotary beater or wire whisk.  As a last resort, strain sauce with sieve to remove lumps.

Cook egg-thickened sauces over low heat, or cook these sauces in the top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water.

Always temper (warm) the egg yolks before adding them to the sauce by first stirring in a little of the hot sauce mixture into them. Then add to the remainder of the sauce mixture. Never let a sauce boil after the egg yolks are added as the sauce may curdle.

Don’t let water boil in the bottom of the double boiler if you use it to make egg-thickened sauces. Also, be sure that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan holding the sauce.

If you click on each of these links it will pull up the recipe in a printable PDF format:

Basic Bechamel (White Sauce) with Variations

Basic Velouté Sauce with Variations

Basic Espagnole (Brown Sauce) with Variations

Basic Mayonnaise with Variations

Basic Hollandaise with Variations

Basic Vinaigrette with Variations

Recipes using these sauces to follow!

Mustgo BBQ

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 NIV

Happy Tuesday!  I hope this finds you all well and rolling through the week in a good way!  Once I got started digging through the freezer this past weekend I uncovered a couple of pork chops and a couple of steaks that still looked edible but not as nice as I would like to grill or fry.  Finding treasures at the bottom or the back of the freezer  may not happen to you, but when it happens to me we have a “Mustgo” dinner.  This must go and that must go! 
The recipe I am sharing today is one that I just love because the pork and beef flavors really meld nicely.   Some time ago I got to worrying that maybe I should not cook beef and pork together … for some strange reason that I can’t explain.  So, I “Googled” may question only to find lots and lots of comments and recipes where the beef and pork are cooked together.  The main object is to make sure both are cooked well.  In the case of my Mustgo BBQ everything gets slow cooked well and then cooked again.  It is a great use of leftovers whether they be from a pot roast and pork chops, or from the back of a freezer shelf!  Happy reading and have a blessed day!
Mustgo BBQ Beef and Pork
Ingredients:Two thick pork chops
Two thick steaks, any cut
1 cup beef bouillon
Place pork, beef, and bouillon in a crock pot on low.  Cook for 6 hours or so.  Remove from the pot and shred.

BBQ Sauce:
1 cup chopped onions
1 can of Coke
2 cups Jack Daniels BBQ sauce (or any of your favorite sauce)

Saute’ the onions in a little bit of butter until nicely brown.

Add a can of Coke

Add BBQ sauce

This will make a fairly thin liquid of BBQ sauce.

Add the shredded beef and pork.

Simmer for 1 hour or however long you have before dinner.

The pork and beef blend to make a really fabulous taste and this simple barbecue sauce is uniquely different.  At this point you can toss on a bun or serve it without.  Some cornbread would be yummy!



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Barbecue or barbeque (common spelling variant)[1] (with abbreviations BBQ & Bar-B-Q; Barbie, used chiefly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia; Braai used in South Africa) is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of charcoal.

The term as a noun can refer to the meat, the cooking apparatus itself (the “Barbecue grill” or simply “Barbecue”) or to a party that includes such food or such preparation methods. The term as an adjective can refer to foods cooked by this method. The term is also used as a verb for the act of cooking food in this manner.

Barbecue is usually done in an outdoor environment by cooking and smoking the meat over wood or charcoal. Restaurant barbecue may be cooked in large brick or metal ovens specially designed for that purpose.

Barbecue has numerous regional variations in many parts of the world.

Roasted Red Pepper Spaghetti

Matthew 28:18-20

New International Version (NIV)

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Oh what a perfect fall morning!  It is cloudy with some promise of rain today.  I love it!   As I went rummaging through the freezer this weekend I found a package of some of my favorite sausage, Roasted Red Pepper and Spinach Chicken SausageCasual Gourmet is a company based in San Leandro, California.  When my brother-in-law was a U.S.D.A. inspector he had an opportunity to go into their plant.  He told me that it was spotless and that they make a really great product. Their products are low fat, pork free, gluten free, no msg, and no nitrites but surprisingly very tasty.  Because they use chicken and turkey they can keep the sausage relatively low in fat.   We started buying their sausage at Costco, but we can also buy it locally at Krogers.  We have tried all their different varieties and we like them all.  This weekend I decided to add this sausage to some homemade spaghetti sauce and the end result was some of the most flavorful sauce I think I have ever made.  If you have a chance to buy some of the Casual Gourmet sausage I don’t think you will be sorry.

I am also going to add a few hints for thickening spaghetti sauce at the bottom of the recipe.  Your sauce may not be runny but sometimes mine is 🙂

Roasted Red Pepper and Spinach Spaghetti

  • 1 quart spaghetti sauce, homemade or store bought
  • 1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 package (5 links) Casual Gourmet Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Sausage
  • Parmesan Cheese

Slice Sausage links into 1/4″  slices.
Brown them in a pot large enough to hold the addition of the spaghetti sauce.  They don’t need a lot of cooking as they are already cooked.
Add in the spaghetti sauce.
Simmer on low for at least a half hour or until you are ready to use.

Prepare pot of boiling water and cook spaghetti according to package directions.

Drain spaghetti well, top with spaghetti meat sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.  We added a salad and garlic bread.  Yum!

How to thicken spaghetti sauce?

Even though I cook down my spaghetti sauce for what seems to be hours and hours, occasionally it is still pretty thin after I can it.  I use several different options to thicken it slightly, depending on what I am going to use it for. 

I like spaghetti sauce thick enough to “stick to the spaghetti” when served.  Years ago someone told me to be sure and put some oil in the water when cooking pasta, so it won’t stick together.  I think this is bunk for several reasons.  I don’t believe it prevents pasta from sticking together, it adds unnecessary calories, and it keeps the sauce from clinging to the pasta.  For these reasons – no oil in my water!  Also, make sure your pasta is well drained, so it doesn’t add extra liquid.

Here are a few options for thickening sauce:

*            Simmer to evaporate off the excess water. (This will also intensive the flavor, so it could be a good thing, but if too much salt has been added, it can be a bad thing.)

*            Add extra ingredients.  Italians often add shredded carrots if the sauce is too acidic.  That cooks down quite mushy and adds body.

*            Add some cream cheese to make a creamy pink sauce, which is decadent.

*            Adding shrimp, chicken, cooked sausage or diced red peppers will thicken the sauce.

*              I have noticed that Barilla makes a lot of their pastas in a “rigate” style –ridges in the spaghetti, rigatoni, linguine. These ridges help the sauce adhere to the noodle. 

*            Add about 1/2 cup to a cup of Romano/Parmesan cheese to the sauce which adds flavor and thickening.  This can also be added to meatballs for added flavor and texture.

*            One of my favorites — add some Instant Minute Tapioca to my homemade spaghetti sauces. Works like a dream.

*            Italian flavored bread crumbs will thicken the sauce.

Casual Gourmet’s pork-free sausage and meatballs
are packed with natural, juicy flavor and have a
lot less fat than traditional pork and beef varieties.
And because they’re fully cooked, they let you get
a gourmet meal on the table in minutes.

•All-Natural Chicken and Turkey
Our sausage and meatballs are made with chicken and turkey that contain no artificial ingredients and is minimally processed.

• N0 Artificial Ingredients
We use only real food ingredients in our products, never anything that’s hard to pronounce.

•No Trans Fats
None of our products have these chemically altered, man-made fats.

•No MSG • No Nitrites
Except for those that occur naturally in celery powder, you won’t find any nitrites in our products. And our flavor comes from real ingredients, not additives like MSG.

•High Protein – Low Carb.
Our products are perfect for people who are looking to add a lower-fat source of good protein to their diets.

•Pork Free
We don’t use any pork in our products.

•Fully Cooked
Want lunch or dinner on the table quick? All of our products are fully cooked so all you do is heat and serve.

We’ve got four delicious varieties of gourmet, pork-free sausage.

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