End of Season Homemade Tomato Sauce




Hint From Ken

Every year about this time, thanks to Andi and Kellie’s garden, we have a bounty of tomatoes because we want to pick everything before the first frost. These end of season vegetable-ish fruits seem to pile up and take over.  At our house they are sitting around the kitchen, ripening in window sills or on the kitchen and dining room tables in big bowls.  A few late bloomers are still showing up on yellowing vines. They are everywhere… and kinda in the way. Though they may be a nuisance now, soon enough, we will really be missing our precious summer tomatoes. What a shame it would be not to do something with them. This is a sauce I make for Andi to then “can” in Mason jars so we can enjoy a taste of summer again when the winter comes. If you are not growing your own, go to your local tomato truck and buy them up to save some summer for yourself.


What you will need:

5 lbs of tomatoes (peeled and  quartered) * See below for peeling technique

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves (chopped)

1 medium white onion (chopped)

1/4 cup of chopped fresh oregano leaves

about 25 whole fresh basil leaves

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon of sea salt

1/2 tablespoon black pepper

1 teaspoon of sugar (The sugar is a small amount but it is there to reduce acidity not to sweeten)


fresh oregano 


To Make:

Heat olive oil in a stock pot, on medium high setting.

Saute garlic for 30 seconds then add onion and continue to cook until onions translucent (about 6 to 7 minutes)

Add quartered tomatoes and reduce heat to medium.

Continue to cook for 30 minutes stirring every few minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add oregano, bay leaves, salt, pepper  and sugar.

Cover and simmer on low for 1 hour – stirring every 15 minutes.

Tomatoes should slowly break down as sauce simmers.


Very important to remove bay leaves and discard because they can be a choking hazard.



Add basil leaves and stir in to sauce.

Toss your favorite pasta with desired amount of sauce…add fresh grated parmesan reggiano cheese and you have the perfect comfort food!


Canning is an excellent way to store for the winter.


* To peel tomatoes easily…

Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set aside.

Slice green tops off of tomatoes.

Boil a large pot of water. place tomatoes (4 at a time)  in boiling water for 30 seconds at a time.

Remove and immediately submerge in ice water for 5 minutes.

Remove from icewater and tomatoes should be easy to peel by hand.

At Hillbilly Super Club on Season 2 of I Love Kellie Pickler on CMT

Ken Johnson

© Hillbilly Supper Club 2016


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