Hey guys! Today I'm making a gigantic batch of tomato sauce. It didn't start out that way, but I always cook too much food, so I will likely can a whole bunch of this. I started with a basic recipe I found and as usual added my own flair. I like stuff spicy, so it has some heat (totally optional) and I roasted the peppers right on the stove burner for that amazing roasted taste. If you've never roasted your peppers before, I highly encourage you to try it. It adds so much flavor to your peppers.
Basically you can fire up the grill or just turn on the burner on your stove if you have a gas stovetop (our stove is fueled via the giant tank of propane outside).
Just roast the peppers over the flame until the skin is BLACK. Stuff the peppers into a bag and seal for about 10 minutes, put on a pair of gloves to save the "AAAAAH I TOUCHED MY EYE AND IT BURNS" issues down the road if you're cooking your more spicy peppers. I use Anaheim because they add a wonderful flavor to dishes without ridiculous amounts of heat.
I think this batch had 3 1/2-4 lbs of tomatoes, but I went with it. Anyhoo, onto the recipe.
3 lbs (roughly) tomatoes
2 medium red peppers
1 Anaheim chile pepper (larger than jalapeños and lighter green)
2 sweet yellow onions
optional veggies - carrots. I forgot to buy some
2, 12 oz cans of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of butter or ghee (which is a clarified butter that you just brown a bit more)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp celery salt (optional a stalk of celery, but I didn't have any)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (to taste really)
1 tablespoon chili powder (to taste)
4 bay leaves
splash of creole seasoning (optional)
1 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt
1 cup of red wine (optional)
1 beef bouillon cube (I actually use something that's called better than bouillon or those creamer size packets of concentrated beef stock as they have a much richer flavor) this is also clearly optional for those of you who are vegetarian or vegan.
In a large stock pot, boil several quarts of water. Have close by a large bowl filled with ice water. You will drop a few tomatoes into the boiling water for approximately 1 minute. Boil the tomatoes until the skin starts to peel, then remove with a slotted spoon and dunk into the ice bath until cool enough to handle. Peel the skins (awesome for the compost bin) and squeeze out the seeds, at this point I also cut off the bit that was attached to them stem and set aside. Save 8 tomatoes (also peeled and seeds removed) to cube later. With the rest of the tomatoes, run through a food processor or blender and pour into crock pot or large soup pot and set aside.
Slice the onions and peppers into the size of your liking. In a large frying pan, melt the butter or ghee, you may also add some olive oil to the mix. Melt the butter in the pan, and stir in your onion and pepper mix as well as your diced garlic and carrots if you opted to toss those into your mix. Cook until onions are translucent and beginning to brown.
Add tomatoes, vegetables, spices, and wine into your crock pot or large pot on the stove, and cook for 4 hours. After 2 hours, stir in the 2 cans of tomato paste.
Stir occasionally and spice to your taste as you are cooking.
When you are done, remove the bay leaves, and then you may either add a combination of Italian sausage and ground beef (I use 4 lbs each for a nice, thick meat sauce) or in my case, I'm going to can most of the tomato sauce as is and then 1/4 of it will be combined with Italian sausage and ground beef to make a meat sauce for my lasagna and the tomato sauce will be canned as is alone for future use in recipes because not everything I cook will require a meat sauce.
It has a nice heat in the back of your throat, I'd say this is a medium heat with both the Anaheim and creole seasoning, but I also used a really big, fat Anaheim pepper. So if you'd like it more mild, I would either eliminate the Anaheim pepper or creole seasoning, or go with a smaller Anaheim pepper.
I'm a pasty, old, white lady and can't handle the heat as much as I used to, but this to me is still pretty mild. I also used to spice things until my eyeballs were sweating, so to me this is "mild" but to many , again, it would be "medium"
Enjoy! Also, I love your feedback, if you've tried this with some additions, I'd love to hear about them!
*edited* totally forgot to tell you to take the bay leaves out before serving.