Thursday, April 19, 2012

Recipes // Homemade (Prego) Pasta Sauce


I am so excited about this recipe. It is one that I have printed out and stuck up in my cookbook because it is actually one that Adam and I both like…and it is all from scratch!

I found the recipe on another blog, but tweaked it even further to fit us. I found it by searching “homemade Prego sauce” since that is our favorite sauce. Not too thick, not too thin, not chunky…just smooth, flavorful pasta sauce. Yum.

Here it is:

Homemade Prego Sauce // Jones Style
3 T. olive oil
2 large garlic cloves
1 onion chopped
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
7 cups chopped tomatoes
1 (28oz) can tomato paste (optional)
¼ cup sugar (optional)
Grated Parmesan cheese for flavor (optional)

Hmm…I just realized that I forgot to add sugar to my last batch. Haha oops! Oh well…it can be added before using the sauce. And actually, I think I am going to experiment with a different type of sweetener since I’m trying to get away from refined sugar. (Adding sugar/sweetener will make the sauce taste less acidic.)

Also, the tomato paste will definitely help thicken the sauce, but I left it out of my last batch because it is a processed item. The sauce was thinner – still good though!

Ok so the original directions have you sauté the onion and garlic in a pot then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for one hour.

But we don’t like any chunks in our sauce. At all.
 
So everything goes in the blender!


I start with the garlic and onion first. Chop it up, blend it, then pour it into a crock pot (or you can still do stove-top).

Then I blend all the tomatoes, briefly, just until no chunks remain.

Pour that into the crock pot. Top with seasonings, add sugar and paste if desired. Give it a quick stir then let it cook!

I set my crockpot on high and cook for about three hours.


When it is done, I let it cool. There is a lot of sauce that comes from seven cups of tomatoes. But that is ok. You can can it (which I have yet to try) or freeze it in Ziploc bags. I freeze it and I love it!

I scoop about four cups of sauce into a gallon bag, let it spread out flat, then seal it without trapping any air. Then I lay the bag (still flat) on a baking sheet and stick it in the freezer. Once frozen, the bag of sauce can be stored upright. I think I have about five bags of frozen sauce now – just enough for five meals.

Easy, yummy, healthy….and my husband will eat it. It’s a win!

6 comments:

Becca said... Reply to Comment

Sounds yummy, I will try it tomorrow. We have a 4 year old "chunk hater" and this sounds just perfect:)

If you ever want to try your hand at making homemade tomato paste, this is an awesome recipe. http://localfoods.about.com/od/condiments/ss/tomatopaste_8.htm
I make mine just as the recipe says, but freeze it instead of putting it in jars. I freeze 1/3 cup blobs of it in a muffin tin and then pop them out once frozen, wrap them in plastic wrap and bag them together in gallon bags. I grab one or two whenever a recipe calls for tomato paste, and I don't feel guilty using it since the tomatoes came from my own garden, totally free of anything icky:)
A lot of tomatoes cook up into a suprisingly small amount of paste, but the flavor is so fabulous that it doesn't even matter.

And you can use it to make your own ketchup too. I leave out the corn syrup and scaled way back on the sugar too, you could tweak it to your personal tastes:) http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/Heinz-Ketchup-Recipe.html

Valerie said... Reply to Comment

@Becca
Wow! Thank you so much Becca! I've been thinking about making my own tomato paste so I will definitely take a look at the link. I love your idea of freezing small amounts in muffin tins. Brilliant! Thanks again!

F said... Reply to Comment

This prego loving no chunks family is going to try this. Thanks for sharing. Question, do you peel the skin off the tomatoes first?

Valerie said... Reply to Comment

@F
Nope! If you use the blender, no need to remove the skins.

F said... Reply to Comment

That's what I like to hear!! :) Thanks!

Anonymous said... Reply to Comment

Do you know what the canning time would be for pints of this? I'd love to try it, but we don't have a lot of freezer space so I can more often than freeze.