Seeing Red


Being Italian and married into an Italian family, sauce is a topic of much debate. Too sweet, too acidic, don’t add this, add that…so many variables and everyone has their own preference (and by preference, I mean the right way of doing things 😉 ) Enter Alton Brown’s Tomato Sauce. Looking over the ingredients I knew this was probably not going to be the sauce for me. I tend to not favor sauces with any added sugar and instead enjoy the natural sweetness from carrots, if any. This recipe called for 1/4 cup of sugar! I meditated for 45 minutes to calm myself and carried on. Now, the method intrigued me, roasting the vegetables prior to blending, this I can get on board with.

The verdict: I hate to say this out loud, so instead I will just type it, not Good Eats 😦 If you favor a sweeter sauce, then this is the sauce for you. There is definite potential. The texture was perfect, a thicker full bodied sauce. For me though, next time, I will completely eliminate the sugar.

On to the recipe…

photo 1 (6)

Get out your whole tomatoes and drain into a pot
photo 2 (6)

Chop up your Mirepoix
photo 3 (6)

Take the tomato juices and add in vinegar, sugar (or not), red pepper flakes, oregano and basil

photo 5 (2)Mix together and bring to a boil, then simmer until it reaches a loose syrup consistency and liquid reduces by half
photo 4 (6)
Squeeze drained tomatoes to remove seeds

photo 1

Add your Mirepoix to roasting pan and sweat stovetop for 15-20 minutes
photo 2

Add tomatoes and capers to roasting pan (Yes, you will be roasting capers. Hold my hand, it will be okay.)
photo 3

Broil for 15-20 minutes in oven
photo 4

Once finished add your reduced sauce

photo 5

Take an imersion blender and blend to desired consistency and Voilà! Or in my case have your imersion blender die a slow painful death, bury in the backyard and have a quick ceremony.

photo 1 (2)

Vitamix to the rescue! Too soon?
photo 2 (2)

Add your sauce in and blend do desired consistency
photo 3 (2)

Add to pasta, meatballs, mussels, chicken cacciatore or use as a pizza sauce
photo 4 (2)Or jar up and eat later

Pantry Friendly Tomato Sauce

Printable Recipe


2 (28-ounce) cans whole, peeled tomatoes
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 onion
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
2 ounces olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup white wine
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


In a sieve over a medium non-reactive saucepot, strain the tomatoes of their juice into the sauce pot. Add the sherry vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, oregano, and basil to the tomato juice. Stir and cook over high heat. Once bubbles begin to form on the surface, reduce to a simmer. Allow liquid to reduce by 1/2 or until liquid has thickened to a loose syrup consistency.

Squeeze each tomato thoroughly to ensure most seeds are removed. Set the tomatoes aside.

Cut carrot, onion, and celery into uniform sizes and combine with olive oil and garlic in a non-reactive roasting pan over low heat. Sweat the mirepoix until the carrots are tender and the onion becomes translucent, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes and capers to the roasting pan.

Place roasting pan on the middle rack of the oven and broil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Tomatoes should start to brown slightly on edges with light caramelization. Remove the pan from the broiler. Place the pan over 2 burners on the stove. Add the white wine to the tomatoes and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes over medium heat.

Put the tomatoes into a deep pot or bowl and add the reduced tomato liquid to the tomatoes. Blend to desired consistency and adjust seasoning.

Recipe Courtesy of


I have revised this post without sugar. You can check out the new recipe on Tasty Kitchen here.


7 thoughts on “Seeing Red

  1. Pingback: Pantry Friendly Tomato Sauce | Sarah 'n Spice

  2. Pingback: Citizen Cane | My Good Eats

  3. Pingback: Foodwhirl | Pantry Friendly Tomato Sauce

  4. Pingback: Pantry Friendly Tomato Sauce

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s