Homemade 'Chunky' Tomato Sauce

Adapted loosely from All Recipes
2 onions, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup canola oil
About 5-6 pounds of whole, garden tomatoes
1 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/8 cup white sugar
1 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste (optional to use when you are ready to use the sauce)

Note:  This recipe represents a half recipe of the original, which was all of the tomatoes I had on hand.  Double if you have lots of tomatoes.   

Update:  I made another batch of this recently and decided to use an immersion blender to smooth the sauce just a bit.  I know we'll enjoy it either way!

Prepare a large pot of water to boil.  Have a large bowl of ice water ready next to the pot when the water is boiling.  Cut a shallow "X" at the non-stem end of each tomato. Drop 3-4 whole tomatoes into the boiling water.  When the skin has cracked, about 1 minute or so, remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon to the ice water bath.  Repeat with all of the tomatoes.  Remove the skin from the tomatoes and core them.  Chop the tomatoes into about 1/2 inch pieces and place in a colander to drain for about 30 minutes. 

In a large stock pot over medium heat, saute the the onion, garlic, green pepper in the canola oil.  Stir often and watch carefully to that it doesn't burn. When the onion is transparent, add the chopped tomatoes, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, parsley, sugar, salt, and ground black pepper. Cook for about 2 hours on very low heat, stirring frequently.

Let sauce cool and pour sauce into quart size freezer containers.

Will keep in freezer for 3-4 months or longer if you have a deep freeze.

When ready to use sauce, you can stir in can of tomato paste, if desired, but I found it tasted great on its own.

TIP:  If using freezer bags, after filling, place flat on a baking sheet in freezer until fully frozen (about 2 hours) so that may be stored flat.
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