Slow-Cooker Tomato Sauce

- Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham
Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Our sauce makes a great pizza topper and is the base for three delicious variations served with pasta or rice.

Hands-on time: 45 minutes
Total time: 5 hours 5 minutes
Yields: Makes about 13 cups


8 pounds fresh tomatoes (such as plum or San Marzano)

2 large sweet onions, chopped

6 garlic cloves, chopped

1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

How to Make It

Cut a small "X" in bottom of each tomato. Bring 8 qt. water to a boil in a large stockpot; add tomatoes, and boil 30 to 60 seconds or until peel begins to separate from tomato flesh. Remove with a slotted spoon. Rinse immediately with cold running water, or plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain. Peel tomatoes, and discard skin. Cut tomatoes in half, and gently squeeze to remove seeds. Coarsely chop tomatoes.

Stir together onions, next 7 ingredients, and chopped tomatoes in a 7-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 5 hours or until tomatoes have broken down and are very soft. Cool 20 minutes. Stir in basil and thyme.

Process mixture with a handheld blender until smooth, or process mixture, in batches, in a food processor or blender. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook's Notes:

We recommend freezing the sauce in 3-cup portions, which is the amount of sauce found in most bottles of commercial sauce. Put the 3 cups of sauce in a 1-qt. freezer-safe jar or freezer bag to allow for expansion as the sauce freezes.


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