Fresh Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Lately, life has been crazy, unpredictable, difficult, and just plain interesting.  I've been doing a lot of cooking.  This is only slightly related to the fact I now have a dishwasher.  The last two weeks I've been on a quest to perfect my spaghetti and pizza sauce recipes.  I try to make as many of our foods from scratch as possible.  I've made homemade spaghetti sauce for us for over a year (perhaps longer) but have always made it using canned tomatoes.  It's always been ok, but I've never been truly happy with it.  I have our mexican meals perfected, I have mashed potatoes perfected, I have chicken fried chicken perfected, and these sauces were just next on the list!  The sauce I made last week my husband and I both agreed was good but lacked in the flavor department.  I'm hoping this sauce will change all that!

You will need 12 cups of peeled, chopped tomatoes, 2 large onions, 3 medium onions, 6 cloves of garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.

I also wanted to show everyone my new knives!  I got them for my birthday a few months ago.  They are my first real set of knives...

A sharpening steel!!!!!!  Ahh...I have such a wonderful husband!

To peel tomatoes you want to take a knife and cut a cross in the top (or bottom...or both).

Repeat elevinty billion times and.

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Drop a few tomatoes in, and let them boil for about 10-15 seconds.  By the way, pardon the dirty stove burner.  It's an old stove and seems to have some stains around a few of the burners...any ideas on how to clean that??

Remove from the boiling water into the coolest water you have avaliable.  I was doing so many tomatoes I just filled my sink up with cold water.  As you can see the skin is really coming off of this one.

About 30 minutes later I was done with my first 5 pounds of tomatoes.  (I have another 5 pounds that are waiting to be turned into pizza sauce)  After the skin is off you'll want to chop them up.  The recipe I have called for removing seeds, however I did not do that...just too much extra work!

Here are my tomatoes waiting to be used!  This ended up being just about exactly 12 cups of tomatoes.

Now to cutting up the onion.  Do you know how to cut an onion?  Here is how I do it...

I always cut them in half from root to sprout end.

I lay the cut side down on my cutting board, and cut off the sprout end.

I then peel off the outer yellow skin that is dry or soft leaving the good parts behind.

Then, carefully, I hold the onion by placing my hand over the top of it, and cut horizontally through the onion, but not all the way thorough the root end.

Then I make vertical slices through the onion, but not through the root end.  Keeping the root intact keeps the onion from all falling apart.

Then I slice it vertically as though I was just normally slicing it.  I hope that made some sort of sense!

All three of my onions diced...sure seems like a lot of onions...

Next, you'll want to heat your olive oil in your pan.  I used my dutch oven.  Sorry it's all brown and battered.  It's been well used...err...maybe over used.  I can't even blame it on anyone but myself!

Toss in your onions, and let them sit on medium heat, while you mince your garlic and measure your spices.

I'm hoping everyone out there has one of these devices...right?  It's a garlic press, and you NEED to have one.  As someone who minces garlic a lot, this saves me a lot of annoyances and spicy chunks in the long run.

See how small it gets the garlic!  <3

Add in your spices, in this case I just used Italian seasoning, but you can use whatever you'd like.

At this point the onion was caramelized, and ready for the garlic and spices.

Toss in the garlic spice mixture, and cook for 5 minutes.  The recipe then calls for some wine to deglaze the pan with.  I used chicken stock because I have zero red wine to speak of.

Next, add your tomatoes, and let simmer for 2 or so hours.

The sauce is nearly done at this point.  It cooks down quite a bit.  Because my husband is a picky eater, I went ahead and tossed my sauce into the food processor.  Can't have any chunks dontchaknow?

The finished product.  Basically red gold with all the time and effort that goes into it!  We haven't eaten it yet, so I'll report back if it really is no good, but I think this may be a winner.

Now if I can just perfect my pizza sauce...

Hope everyone has a great Monday!

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