Friday, August 5, 2011

Garden Marinara Sauce

I'm embroiled in a full-scale war with a very fat, very diabolical groundhog who's been snacking on my garden tomatoes. Because of this, I've been picking the tomatoes off the vine as soon as they turn a bit red and letting them ripen inside the house, where they are safe from overgrown, furry yard rats. This situation left me with a bunch of tomatoes that ripened at the same time and had to be used right away. So I decided to make marinara sauce with them. I read in a book that keeping the skin on the tomatoes adds nutrients to the sauce. I don't know if that's true, but it did save me the step of blanching and peeling the tomatoes. Instead, I threw them into the food processor and pulverized them. Easy, peasy. To preserve this sauce for later, I poured it into 1-quart freeze-safe jars. It will last for a year in the freezer, and it's so much easier than canning.


8 large garden tomatoes
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
15 leaves basil, torn
1/4 c. Italian leaf parsley, chopped
2 tsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Wash tomatoes, scrubbing off any dirt, and pat dry. Core to remove stems and slice in half.

2. Place tomatoes in a food processor (or use a blender). Pulse until the consistency is what you desire. Depending on the size of your processor, this step might need to be done in batches. Also, don't worry if your tomato puree is on the pink side (mine looked like watermelon juice). The sauce will get red as it's cooked down.

3. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Pour in tomato puree. Add basil, parsley, sugar, salt and pepper. Allow to simmer, uncovered, until sauce cooks down to desired thickness. I simmered mine for about 40 minutes. I left my sauce a bit watery, knowing I would cook it down further when I used it later. Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to cool down. When sauce is no longer hot, pour through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any seeds. Transfer sauce to freezer jars, leaving 1/2 inch of the jar empty to allow for expansion. Keep in freezer for up to 6 months. Makes about 2 quarts.

Source: Cats and Casseroles original recipe


  1. This would certainly save time and ouchy fingers not needing to peel the tomatoes....did the straining get rid of the peel remnants? I will soon have an abundance of tomatoes myself to use up and I would like to give this recipe a go! It's so hard to have a good garden when all those pesky creatures think you've planted it for them! :)

  2. The sauce will last a year in the fridge? That's crazy (in a good way)! I love to can but sometimes the thought of boiling all that water just seems too daunting.

  3. Beautiful sauce, and you outsmarted the groundhog!

  4. Delicious!

    This is a perfect recipe for this week's Sharing Sundays because our theme is RED!!! We would love if you would drop by and link up this recipe and any other recipes that have RED ingredients such as, Strawberries, Marinara Sauce, Red Peppers, Tomatoes etc.


  5. mama miaaaa deliciuso!

  6. Yummy!! We had a problem with groundhogs eating our tomatoes, too. We set out a live trap and baited it with tomatoes. Unfortunately, the groundhogs were not fooled....or they preferred picking their own. A friend told us to try baiting the trap with peaches...apparently peaches are equivalent to groundhog nirvana. Long story short, we relocated the entire groundhog population in our neighborhood!

  7. Boil whole tomatoes for 2-3 mins the peel will come right off. THEN run through food processor. Have strainer ready, pour tomato puree through strainer into pot so that seeds are eliminated before mixing with seasoning.


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