This classic sauce can be made with tomatoes from the garden, a local farm, or the grocery store—fresh or canned. If working with fresh tomatoes, choose a combination of round and plum tomatoes for best results. If you are canning, be sure to peel the tomatoes and add the lemon juice to the jars to reach the appropriate pH level.
- Yield: 4 cups (850 g)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3½ pounds (1586 g) tomatoes, peeled and chopped into large pieces, or two 28-ounce (794 g) cans whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (if canning)
- If you are canning, start boiling the jars to be used and follow the Steps for Canning.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes, until just softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer.
- Add the tomatoes, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil for 3 minutes. Use a potato masher to break up the tomatoes. How much to mash depends on how chunky you like your sauce.
- Bring the sauce to a boil again, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Bring to a low boil, uncovered, and cook over medium-low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. How long to boil depends on how thick you like your sauce.
- If you are canning, add 1½ tablespoons of lemon juice to each pint jar before adding the tomato sauce, leaving ½ inch (13 mm) of headspace, and process in a water bath for 35 minutes. Otherwise, let the sauce cool and then transfer it to airtight containers; refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.