RECIPE: Recipe for frozen tomato sauce

gladgourdJune 21, 2008

I recently had a frozen pasta dish from Trader Joe's. It had penne pasta and frozen circles of tomato sauce/spaghetti sauce. You simply heated this in the microwave or on stove top.

I thought I could make a similar sauce with all the tomatoes that are soon going to roll in.

Does anyone have a good recipe for freezer spaghetti sauce?

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teresa_nc7

Most any recipe for tomato sauce can be frozen. I have made the Simple Tomato Sauce from Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network for several years and I always freeze it.

Simple Tomato Sauce
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes (the 28oz. cans will do)
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.

Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor or buzz with an immersion blender. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 6 cups
User Rating: 5 Stars

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 9:23AM
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gladgourd

Thank you, Teresa! This sounds like a delicious! Thanks a bunch!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 9:52PM
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grainlady_ks

I prepare many things and divide it into single-serving amounts and freeze them for easy use, much like your Trader Joe's pasta meal you'd like to make yourself.

Homemade, or you can also freeze commercial sauses, like meaty spaghetti sauce or marinara sauce is frozen in 1/2-cup or 1-cup amounts in small plastic containers. Those are quick-frozen then popped out of the containers, stacked and vacuum-sealed in a FoodSaver bag. I can take out one (or more), seal the bag up again, and use it for all kinds of things depending on the pasta of choice - fresh cooked/dried and cooked/or leftover pasta - or meat used.

I make hamburger stroganoff mixture (no noodles) and freeze it in 1/2-cup amounts and vacuum-seal them. When I want stroganoff, I'll cook up the pasta-of-choice (it doesn't necessarily have to be noodles, it's great mixed into multi-grain or spelt penne pasta as well), and top it with the reheated stroganoff mixture. I might also saute some fresh mushrooms and add to the stroganoff mixture, if there's some in the refrigerator.

"Taco" meat in 1/2-cup amounts quickly becomes a base for tacos, sanchos, quesadillas, taco salad, or a topper for baked potatoes or a "taco" pizza. Taco meat can be made from cooked hamburger, or leftover roast beef, pork or chicken spiced up a bit.

Shredded leftover roast beef is also packaged in small snack bags and frozen. One portion of shredded beef + bbq sauce and you have a quick bbq beef sandwich even my non-cooking hubby can manage to make himself for lunch. The multi-grain sandwich buns are also homemade and individually wrapped and waiting in the freezer.

A variety of cooked meat frozen in single portions and you'll have chicken to add to a salad, or beef or pork to add to a quick stir-fry of veggies that are begging to be used in the refrigerator or out of the garden, browned loose hamburger or sausage and you have a meat topping for a homemade pizza. Nearly every kind of meat I have frozen I have used as a topping for a homemade pizza, mixed into rice, added to a salad, or tossed on or wrapped in a tortilla (LOL).

I also keep small amounts of cooked beans (black beans, kidney beans, cannellini, etc.), rice (brown rice and spiced rice), and cooked wheat in the freezer to use as quick-to-fix add-ins for lots of dishes and salads.

-Grainlady

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 11:35AM
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marlingardener

Teresa in NC,
Thank you so much for posting the simple tomato sauce recipe. I had two baskets of tomatoes sitting in the fridge, and all the other ingredients on hand, so I made a huge batch this morning. The amount of tomatoes was pretty much a guess, since the recipe called for canned, crushed tomatoes and mine were just off the vine, but it tastes great! I froze two quarts, kept out some for dinner tonight, and will be making it again next week. I think this recipe can be doubled or even tripled. We'll be happy all winter with this sauce!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 4:04PM
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teresa_nc7

gardener, I'll bet your sauce was very special made with fresh tomatoes! I'm glad you liked the recipe. This is the only tomato sauce recipe that I use since I first tried it two or three years ago. The recipe on paper is taped inside a kitchen cabinet door. Then, my younger son gave me Giada's book a couple of Christmases ago.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 10:15PM
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