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Grandpappy's Homemade Tomato Sauce,
Spaghetti Sauce, Pizza Sauce, Mexican Salsa, and Catsup Recipes
Using Fresh Tomatoes

Copyright March 8, 2010 and July 1, 2010 by Robert Wayne Atkins, P.E.
All Rights Reserved.

Basket of Fresh Tomatoes Introduction:

There is no universal recipe for making the "perfect" tomato sauce because different people have different taste preferences.

Sauce Thickness:
  1. Tomato sauce can be made thinner by adding just a little water.
  2. Tomato sauce can be made thicker by cooking it a little longer.
Sauce Cooking Time:
  1. A shorter cooking time (one hour) will preserve more of the "fresh tomato" taste and yield a thinner sauce that still contains small pieces of tomato.
  2. A medium cooking time (two hours) will gradually soften the tiny tomato pieces and create a smoother sauce.
  3. A longer cooking time (3 to 4 hours) over very, very low heat will give all the ingredients in the sauce a chance to more thoroughly and completely blend together to create a fuller, richer taste. It will also result in a thicker sauce because more of the moisture will have been cooked off. If you prefer a thinner sauce you can always add a little water later to yield the sauce consistency you prefer.
Basic Tomato Sauce Ingredients (yields about 1.5 cups of pure tomato sauce):

Optional Additional Ingredients To Make Spaghetti Sauce (yields about 2 cups of spaghetti sauce):
Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs Cooking Directions:
  1. Do not use an aluminum pot when cooking tomatoes. Any high acidic food, such as tomatoes, will interact with the aluminum and produce off flavors.
  2. Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil. Fill a large bowl with very, very cold water (or ice water). Put the whole tomatoes in the boiling water for one-minute. Then immediately transfer the whole tomatoes to the bowl of very cold water using a slotted spoon. Wait for the tomatoes to cool so they can be handled with your hands. Then remove the skins. Dispose of the hot water and the cold water.
  3. Cut the tomatoes into quarters from end to end. Scrape out and discard the seeds and the top center hard piece of the tomato.
  4. Dice the tomatoes into very, very small pieces. The smaller the diced tomato pieces the more closely your final tomato sauce will look like canned tomato sauce. Or process the tomatoes on very low speed in an electric blender or food processor. Tomatoes processed using a blender will yield a final sauce that is almost identical in appearance to a canned tomato sauce.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick sauce pan. If you are making spaghetti sauce or salsa then add the grated green bell pepper and the grated onion and heat for three minutes to give these flavors a chance to mix with the olive oil.
  6. Add the finely diced tomatoes, the salt, and the black pepper. If appropriate, stir in the optional sugar.
  7. If you are using garlic, or basil, or thyme, or parsley, or oregano, or carrot, then add them at this time. (You should have already rinsed them with clean water and minced them into tiny pieces or processed them in a blender.)
  8. Add heat until you can hear the olive oil sizzling and then immediately reduce the heat to a very, very, very low simmer. Cover the sauce pan and cook between one-hour to four-hours depending on how thick you like your tomato sauce. Stir often while cooking (at least once every five or ten minutes).
Pizza Sauce:

Add the garlic, sugar, basil, thyme, and oregano but omit the bell pepper, the onion, and the parsley.
If available, add 2 teaspoons lemon juice.
Stir frequently and simmer until thick.
Follow the directions for making pizza dough elsewhere on this web site.

Mexican Salsa:

Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic but omit the sugar and omit the four herbs.
Add between 1/2 to 1 cup of diced hot peppers with their seeds (jalapeno peppers or cayenne peppers).
Simmer for a total of 20 minutes, remove from the heat, allow the salsa to cool, and serve.

Catsup (or Ketchup):

Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic but omit the sugar and omit the four herbs.
Add 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar (or granulated sugar).
Add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar.
Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
Add 1/2 teaspoon paprika.
Simmer for two hours with a cover on the sauce pan stirring frequently. Then simmer for approximately one more hour without a cover on the sauce pan, stirring frequently, until the catsup thickens. Remove from heat and allow it to cool. As the catsup cools it will gradually get a little thicker but it will not be the same consistency as commercial catsup.

Click on www.grandpappy.org for Robert's Home Page.

Grandpappy's e-mail address is: RobertWayneAtkins@hotmail.com