Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce

So I have a confession: I am slightly obsessed with Jen Hatmaker’s writings: her blogs, her books, and now… her recipes. For those of you may not know of this awesome woman, you can read her blog and become obsessed as well. Her first book that I read was 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  She has a way with words: humorous, raw, authentic, and her writing will touch your soul (and now tastebuds). Go check her out at jenhatmaker.com and you can thank me later.

Anyho, this tomato sauce recipe came from her website and I just tweaked it to my preferences. This is a big batch of sauce (enough for 4 pizzas or multiple pasta dishes) so you can use some now and freeze the rest for later. Also, it’s so versatile you can use it for any dish calling for a tomato sauce: pizza, spaghetti, lasagna, baked ziti… Are you hungry yet?! Seriously, try this sauce out and I guarantee you’ll always keep your house stocked with it!

Ingredients:
• ½ cup olive oil
• 1 tsp – 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
• Entire head of garlic, grated
• ½ red onion, minced
• 28 ounce can of organic tomato puree
• 15 ounce can of organic crushed tomatoes (I used fire roasted, yum!)
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
• Salt and pepper to taste

tomsauceing

Directions:
• In a medium sized pot on low heat warm the olive oil, red pepper flakes, onion and garlic. Cook about 4 minutes. Your nose will know when it’s done, it smells so good!
• Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until the olive oil is incorporated.
• On low heat, let the sauce simmer for at least an hour.
• Taste throughout the hour and add more seasoning, if needed.
• After an hour feel free to use on the Italian dish of your choice!

tomsaucestove

Notes:
• This first note, I’m taking directly from Jen Hatmaker because she words it so perfectly. “First, a word about the tomatoes. I use Muir Glen, and there is really nothing you can ever say to make me change my mind. DO NOT GET SOME JANKY TOMATO SAUCE FROM THE BOTTOM SHELF. I am so serious. This sauce is only as good as the ‘maters. Cento is a 2nd place brand if my store punks out on the Muir Glen. Fresh, homegrown peeled tomatoes are the Prom Queen of this recipe in the summer obvs, but how many of us are going to boil and peel 20 tomatoes when we could open a can?” (I know, you love her now too!)
• I learned while making this dish balsamic vinegar has different leaf ratings. When I was buying the ingredients, I just got the 1 leaf because it was cheaper, but I came with a sample for 4 leaf… Y’all, I could drink that 4 leaf out of the bottle… But I didn’t, mainly because I only had a sample which I used for the recipe. I gotta tell ya, after sampling the 4 leaf that is all I am going to use from now on. Try it!
• I only used 1 teaspoon of the red pepper flakes, but the original recipe calls for 1 tablespoon. I strongly suggest if you’re not worried about burning your little toddlers tongues to use the whole tablespoon.
• In my picture, next to the sauce there’s my homemade dough rising, also from jenhatmaker.com. I followed that recipe exactly so if you’re looking for a pizza dough recipe to go along with the sauce, check out her website.
• Again, this is super basic and versatile. You can adjust it to the dish you’re making or add your favorite herbs and seasonings to come along for the ride.  Here’s a picture of the pizza I made.  It was AMAZING.

pizza

Have you been looking for an amazing pizza sauce recipe? What other recipes could benefit from this sauce?

Advertisement

Cilantro Lime Yogurt Sauce

The other day I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner. Now what this really means is: pick a side and a starch. In our house we hardly ever have a traditional salad. I found that with my boys they eat tons of vegetables if I just chop them up in toddler sized pieces, put them on a plate, and serve it with Ranch dressing. Anyho, so I asked Nathan what he wanted for dinner. He asked for grilled chicken and my cilantro-lime rice.

While I am making dinner, I remember that a few weeks ago when I made this dish we really wanted a sauce to go with it. Actually, it was when I was making the cilantro lime rice with some grilled fish. I remembered that the dish was good, but almost begging for a sauce … A nice cool and creamy element to the dish. Obviously, I had a lot of cilantro and lime on hand so I pulled out the food processor and got to work. I came up with a cilantro and lime yogurt sauce. This sauce is ridiculous. I wanted to eat it by the spoonful. Ok, I did once. Are you ready for the recipe? I actually measured this time so I could out the recipe. It’s quick and easy too! I made it while my chicken and rice were cooking, and still had time to chop up all our veggies before it got done.

cilantrolimesauce

Ingredients:
• 1 cup plain yogurt
• ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
• 1-2 cloves of garlic
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• ½ teaspoon salt
• Zest of one lime

Directions:
1. Place all the ingredients in the food processor.
2. Pulse until the cilantro is well blended in the sauce.
3. Pour into a bowl and serve over chicken, fish, or protein of your choice.
4. Stop licking the spoon and go eat your dinner!

Notes:
• The yogurt I used was just plain (full fat, baby) yogurt. If you use Greek yogurt, you may need to thin it out with a splash of milk if the sauce isn’t the consistency you want.
• When I made this I used 2 cloves of garlic and it was just a tad strong for me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the sauce, but the garlic lingered long after dinner. So, if you like a light garlic taste then just start with 1 clove.
• I normally skip a dressing with my veggies, but I ended up using this not just on my chicken, but as my dressing for the vegetables too!

What other ways can you see yourself using this sauce? Any other variations you want to try?