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February 7, 2008

Tomato sauce (Recipe: one-one-one spaghetti sauce)

Tomatosauce1

This post has been updated with new photos, links, and tweaks to the recipe. To read the new post, please click this link to Tomato sauce (Recipe: one-one-one spaghetti sauce).

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Comments

Makes me think that the thing I buy the most of even at Sam's is tomato; so much i may have 3 or four different forms of it in 6 packs. Tomatoes then take up a lot of shelf space in my pantry.

I´d feel naked without a couple of jars of "tomate frito" and some cans of whole plum tomatoes in the cupboard. And ketchup, of course!

Tomatoes remind me of what a roommate said once in Germany. We were all students on tight budgets, and rarely bought meat. On the prominent role of tomatoes in our favorite dishes, he said, "Studentenfutter ist immer rot." Student chow is always red!

Ah, tomatoes! I should just buy them by the case and save myself the trouble of putting them on every grocery list I make.
At some point, I got tired of all those different tomato products (paste, diced, sauce, roasted) and now buy only one: whole peeled tomatoes in their own juice. I use that for everything :) Well, there are also some sun-dried tomatoes in the pantry, but that is a different beast.

It is funny how many tomatoes we have here and very few tomato products. The ones we do have are imported and rather expensive. Paste is much more available than sauce, although finally in the last few months someone did start packaging sauce. What a lifesaver! Great info!

Canned tomato anything besides paste is one of those things I always have handy but feel guilty about using (sort of like when I use store-bought stock). I know making my own isn't super hard and the outcome is usually noticeably better, but alas, only so many hours in the day and only so many I'm willing to spend in the kitchen.

On that note, the canned fire-roasted tomatoes can be a nice change if you want some of that nice, smokey flavor mixed in with the tomato. :o

Thanks for the link back to the slow roasted tomatoes--I had missed that post. Looks to be the perfect solution for too many garden tomatoes.

Canned tomatoes are a true live savior - especially in the off season when you want a good tasting tomato soup or a nice pasta sauce. Then I prefer using canned tomatoes to the unripe stuff that comes from Holland!

Do canned goods 'really' last indefinitely, Lydia? I was thinking that while we might some time use our pantries for 'perma-storage' (you know, in case of nuclear winters, etc ...) that really, we should cycle through everything every year or so.

FYI, I'm starting to see 3oz cans of tomato paste along with (here, anyway) standard 6oz.

Tomatoes are one food I just couldn't get along without! I'm a big fan of Muir Glen organic diced tomatoes. I also make my own tomato sauce in the summer when I have lots of tomatoes, which reminds me, I need to get using some of it!

I usually buy whole canned tomatoes to make my tomato sauces but sometimes this is such a time saver!

Tomato sauce just like my momma used to make. Wonderful!

Mario Batali may have clay toes inside his clogs, but he often repeats one idea that is probably good: buy WHOLE canned tomatoes. If you want them chopped, sliced, or grated, do it yourself. But then you know you bought the best they had, not the ones that broke up during processing (or worse).

And while I'm at it: Grating whole canned tomatoes on a box grater makes a really good, thick background for dishes where you don't want pieces. It doesn't take long, and is much better than pre-mushed-up tomatoes in a can, as Mario (tho not a god) B. says.

Yum! That's the kind of sauce I made back in the day too. And I also believe that the foundation of my pantry must include lots of canned tomato products. If I run out, I am thunderstruck. That's not supposed to happen!

MyKitchen, same here. In "the old days," we would all have cellars filled with tomatoes we'd canned ourselves. There was a great scene in a Doris Day movie where she's canning bushels of tomatoes in the basement while her doctor husband (James Garner) is off at work!

Lobstersquad, I forgot about ketchup! Of course I have that, too.

Lucia, I have to admit that when I first read your comment, I thought you were going to say, "Student chow is always rot!"

Nupur, you are wise. One tomato really can do it all.

Gretchen, maybe it's the same theory as concentrate (orange juice, laundry detergent, etc.) -- more bang for the buck, and more storage space, with concentrates like tomato paste. Interesting that you are now seeing more tomato products, even if imported.

Mike, we're always making choices about what we do and don't have time to do in the kitchen from scratch. The science of food preservation has given us some pretty good packaged products, like IQF fruit and vegetables, and sophisticated canning processes, that mean we're getting things like tomatoes picked at their peak. So I let myself off the hook for these.

Kathy, check back in August and September, when I'll be making slow-roasted tomatoes for next winter. Hope you'll be making them, too!

Meeta, I agree. Better to use good quality canned than the plastic tomatoes we get in the market here in winter.

Alanna, thank you -- I've added a reminder about expiration dates, which should have been in the original post. I haven't seen the 3-oz cans, but I'm completely addicted to the tomato paste in tubes now.

Kalyn, I've had so much fun making slow roasted tomatoes that occasionally I'll find some tucked in the back of the freezer from two summers ago! This past year I gave most of my tomatoes away, to avoid the backlog.

Patricia, I think the reason I started making this sauce was that mixing the types of tomato products speeded up the cooking. Doesn't that sound like something a high school kid would want to do???!

Cakespy, enjoy!

Mae, that's a good point, and one echoed by some comments here. One of the best things about going through my pantry is that I have to figure out why I have certain ingredients in it. Tomato sauce is definitely on the endangered species list.

Sher, a good basic spaghetti sauce never goes out of style!

Tomatoes! Otherwise known as "love apples." (Ever heard of that one?) My pantry is full of various types of canned tomatoes as we speak: stewed, diced (regular and petite,) seasoned, unseasoned, whole, sauce, paste, you name it, it's in there. And fresh? Don't even get me started! There is nothing better than a ripe tomato plucked from the vine and enjoyed.

But it's strange I should come across this post today, as I just found out yesterday that processed tomato products (and the lycopene in them) are better for you in things like ketchup than in eating a fresh tomato. Can you imagine? Ketchup? I was amazed, and didn't know that prior. Then to find your article echoing the same sentiments. Sometimes the universe speaks so loud, you just have to listen.

My tomato sauce comes in boxes - like juice boxes. It's taken awhile to sort out what is what. First I had to learn it in Spanish (for Andorra) and now French. No, the words aren't in the dictionary, that would be mush to easy!

Hi Lydia,
Thanks for the tip about substituting tomato paste for the canned tomatoes (I swear by an italian brand that we find here). I do find myself in that situation regularly enough, that happens when both of us cook, but only one of us (guess who) replenishes the pantry!

Lydia, that sauce brings back memories - the centerpiece of so many family spaghetti dinners! What I wouldn't do for a taste right now!

I agree with T.W. and you, this kind of sauce is so simple and good. I used to eat bowls of the stuff without the pasta spaghetti- I guess a neutered chili?

Cork and Feast, welcome to The Perfect Pantry. I think the universe is pointing us towards some fries or a hamburger to hold up that ketchup -- at least that what it's saying to me!

Katie, I like the boxes of Pomi tomatoes because they have a picture of what's inside. Don't I sound lazy??

Nora, I don't there's a pantry anywhere that's immune to the effect of two cooks sharing it!

TW, the original "formula" was taught to me by the mother of my only Italian friend in high school (we didn't live in a town with much of an Italian population), and I think this is what they had for family dinner. It has graced my own dinner table many hundreds of times since then.

Callipygia, if you threw in a can of kidney beans, this would make a great chili. I'll have to try that!

You are so right on! If you're ever in the So Cal region, you must stop by and check out our pantry. You would be pleased with our tomato selection. We've pretty much memorized your recipe already! I wish all my college physics classes had formulas this easy!

Well, you know me and my sauce ... I never buy the stuff in a can, tho I rely very heavily on canned tomatoes, crushed or strained. Somehow I just don't trust Hunt's or anyone else to do the seasoning for me!

Yum! Giant cans of tomatoes are always on hand at my house! My mother-in-law cans the tomatoes grown in her own garden-I hope to learn her methods one day-the flavor of a homegrown tomato is amazing!

I too always have some tomato products in my pantry. Usually it's the crushed variety. I ALWAYS make my own sauce from scratch when I make pasta. The only jarred sauces that I can handle are Rao's and Mario Batali's arrabiatta. All the others, Prince, Ragu, Classico, etc all are either too sweet or too generic for my tastes.

I feel incomplete without a can of tomato sauce in my pantry. It's used for many things. And I love your recipe, it is easy to remember!

White on Rice Couple, I wish my physics class had been this easy! I'd love to see your pantry -- maybe you'll share a photo for the Saturday feature on Other People's Pantries??

Sean, same here, I have to be in control of my sauce. Except on the rare occasions when I make lasagna from bottled marinara sauce created by the somewhat illustrious former mayor of Providence. The man may have been convicted of RICO violations, but he does know his "gravy."

Rtcaro, welcome to The Perfect Pantry! We've been the beneficiaries of many tomatoes canned by friends from the harvest of their gardens. I add herbs from my own garden, and it's the best ever sauce for pasta.

One Food Guy, see my comment above, about our local Mayor's Own Marinara Sauce (known in my house as "Buddy Sauce"). My biggest disappointment in the store-bought sauce department: Newman's Own. Way too sweet for me. My homemade sauce, which I use 99% of the time, is absolutely not sweet -- in fact, I often add Dijon mustard or some balsamic vinegar.

Veron, it's so easy that I've remembered it for 40 years (and I can't say that about very many other things in life!).

One of these days I really need to make my own spaghetti sauce! Great "one, one, one" recipe!

I use this on pizzas in when I need to add some tomato flavor to soups, such as escarole and beans. As for marinara, I like whole tomatoes that I crush. It's amazing how many different types of tomatoes and sauce are available though.

Lydia, welcome to The Perfect Pantry! (Readers, don't be confused -- there are really two Lydias, or maybe more, out here in food blog land.) Spaghetti sauce got me through many years when I didn't know how to cook much of anything else, and it's still great comfort food in our house. Please try it!

Susan, living in the most Italian state in the US, I'm overwhelmed with the number of tomato products available here. You're lucky to have grown up in this part of the country.

Once you open a jar of Tomatoe Sauce how long can you keep it in the refrigerator???? Please help, I cant find the answer to this......

Rose, If the tomato sauce is in a jar, you can keep it for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. But it's better to put it into a freezer-safe container and freeze it, where it will keep for 3-6 months. If the tomato sauce is in a can, do not store it in the can.

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