With the bounty of my home-grown tomatoes and Doug’s love for red pasta sauces; I have been searching for a tomato sauce, NOT requiring me to sweat over a hot stove all day long. So, imagine my elation when I discovered a recipe that I can use my home-grown tomatoes and the Crock-Pot! The Crock-Pot below can be programmed to start cooking while you are at work AND you can carry it to a dinner party!
Because this was a new recipe and it would just be my husband and myself dining, I cut this recipe in half for this test run. The recipe below will render approximately 13 cups of sauce. The recipe really was simple to do and I used 4 lbs of tomatoes for us. I did a few alterations, which I will highlight in RED. Please let me know if you try this and make any changes to benefit your family’s tastes.
Ingredients for Slow-Cooker Tomato Sauce
- 8 lbs. fresh tomatoes
- 2 large sweet onions, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Directions for Slow-Cooker Tomato Sauce
Wash all your fresh tomatoes. Cut a small “X” on the bottom of each tomato. Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add tomatoes, boil for 30-60 seconds, or until you can see the peel beginning to separate from the tomato flesh. Remove each tomato with a slotted spoon. I placed a large colander in a large bowl containing ice water. Place each tomato in the colander, in the ice water to stop the cooking process. Only after a minute of the tomatoes sitting in the ice bath, they will be ready to drain.
Peel tomatoes and discard skin. Cut tomatoes in half, removing the tough core. Gently squeeze to remove large seeds, but the removal of all seeds is not necessary. Coarsely chop tomatoes.
Place tomatoes in a slow cooker. Mix in the next 7 ingredients
- Tomato paste
- Italian Seasoning
- Salt and pepper
Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or until tomatoes have broken down and are very soft. I cooked mine 5 hours and the tomatoes were completely broken down. Cool for 20 minutes. Stir in basil and thyme.
Process mixture with a handheld blender until smooth or process mixture, in batches in a food processor blender. Season with salt and pepper.
I placed mine in the wonderful investment of a Vitamix Creations II 64 oz. 13-in-1 Variable Speed.
Because I had cut the recipe in half, I was able to do the
mixing in one batch, 10 seconds is all it took.
It is ready to pour over your favorite cooked pasta.
This recipe is courtesy of Southern Living Magazine, which recommends freezing the sauce in 3-cup portions, which is the amount of sauce found in most bottled products. Make sure the jar is freezer safe, or use freezer bags. Remember to allow for expansion as the sauce freezes.
I sauteed some pancetta so Doug would have a protein in his sauce. Once my pasta was done, I drained the pasta and returned it to the hot dutch oven pot I had boiled the pasta in. I poured over the prepared sauce and dropped in the cooked pancetta.
Garnished with basil and Parmesan Cheese, then served.
Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce
- 8 fresh, medium-sized tomatoes
- 2 chopped, sweet onions
- 6 chopped garlic cloves
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp white sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh, chopped basil
- 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped thyme leaves
- Wash all the fresh tomatoes. Cut a small "X" on the bottom of each tomato. Bring 8 quarts of water to a rapid boil. Drop-in tomatoes to boiling water. Boil for one minute or until you can see the peel beginning to separate from the vegetable. Remove each tomato with a slotted spoon. Dip each tomato in an ice, cold water bath. Allow the tomatoes to sit in the ice bath for one minute to stop the cooking process. Drain.
- Once cool enough to handle, peel the remaining skin off the tomatoes. Cut tomatoes in half, removing the tough core. Gently squeeze to remove large seeds, but the removal of ALL seeds is not necessary. Coarsely chop tomatoes.
- Place tomatoes in your slow cooker.
- Mix the onions, garlic, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper till thoroughly combined.
- Place dry ingredients in slow-cooker with tomatoes. Cover and cook, on HIGH for 4-5 hours or until tomatoes have broken down and are very soft.
- Remove lid and ceramic slow cooker bowl. Allow to cool for 20 minutes, stir in fresh basil and thyme.
- Process mixture with an immersion blender until smooth or process the sauce, in batches, in your food processor or blender.
- Season with salt and pepper. It is ready to pour over your favorite pasta.