Big Batch Pasta Sauce

Posted by Vanessa in Cooking, April 29, 2017

pasta sauce

I made this sauce years back for a deep dish pizza and loved the simplicity of it.  At the time, we were using a similar jarred pasta sauce – but not long after, it was discontinued.  And so instead of simmering this sauce down to something suitable for a pizza, I made a few adjustments and have been making big batches to use for our spaghetti nights ever since.

pasta sauce 2

A few notes :

– Wear an apron.  Nobody wants to scrub out tomato splatter stains.

– Adding a little red wine while you simmer is a good addition, but I never seem to have any when I’m making a batch.  You can also add a little when you are reheating it, just make sure you give it at least 30 minutes to let the flavors develop well.

– This sauce is simple and versatile.  I mostly use it for spaghetti and meatballs or with a package of refrigerated cheese ravioli for a quick dinner.  It’s a good dipping sauce for toasted ravioli (a favorite of my kids) and reduced a bit makes a great sauce for a grilled pizza in the summer.  It’s convenient to already have a few jars on hand when I’m wanting to make some pans of lasagna too.

If you don’t have a quality jarred sauce you love, this might be something worth trying.  I’d recommend making a single batch to start (see the deep dish pizza recipe, that’ll easily give you the measurements to use) to ensure you like it before you end up with gallons.  But if you do like it, and I think you will, you’ll love having jars at the ready in your freezer.

pasta sauce 3

Pasta Sauce

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes.
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes.
  • Ready in 50 Minutes.
  • Makes: 11 Servings
  • 2 sticks butter (16 tablespoons)
  • 2-3 onions, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • kosher salt
  • 12-14 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 4 (28 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, maybe more to taste
  • 1/2 cup (or more if you like) chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Heat butter in a large stock pot over medium heat until melted. Add onion, oregano and 1 tablespoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has mostly evaporated and onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in tomatoes (one can at a time, to make incorporating everything a little easier) and sugar. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes to give the flavors a chance to start coming together. Off heat, stir in basil and oil, then season with salt and pepper. Add a little more sugar if it tastes too acidic.
  • Once it begins to cool a bit, bottle into quart-size mason jars. Leave about 3/4 inch at the top of the jar to allow for expanding.
  • This recipe fills around 11 jars. Allow to cool to room temperature, then label and freeze.
  • When you want to use a jar, place in the refrigerator. It takes a few days to thaw, so plan ahead a bit. Heat it over medium-low heat for 30-45 minutes or so.

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