Homemade Tomato Sauce


Makes Approximately 10 cups of Sauce (Enough to freeze for later or feed a crowd)

6 1/2 lbs paste tomatoes (romas, san marzanos, etc.), skins removed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced (about 3 cups)
4 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 poblano peppers, seeded and diced (optional, these give the dish a spicy vegetable flavor)
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 bunch fresh thyme, stems tied together
6 Tablespoons fresh oregano
4 Tablespoons fresh parsley
1 bay leaf (Turkish or 2 California bay leaves)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt & Pepper

Place a large stock pot over medium heat. Add in the olive oil and sauté the onion, carrots, celery, red bell peppers, poblano peppers, and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes to the pot along with the fennel, thyme, oregano, parsley, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a simmer and partially cover the pot with a lid. Continue to simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce is thickened. Remove the thyme bundle and bay leaf. Stir in lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, basil, and red pepper. Adjust salt and pepper to taste (start with a teaspoon of salt and work up from there). If desired, puree the sauce with a stick blender or regular blender until it reaches your desired consistency (the sauce can be anywhere from chunky to smooth depending on your preference).

The sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for 1 year.