Before we leave for a weekend of autumn camping, I like to make one batch of super versatile tomato sauce that can be extended into several meals. I use it over spaghetti, modify it slightly to make into sloppy joes, and have even used it as a base for tomato soup or chili.
Super Versatile Tomato Sauce
- 1 Vidalia or sweet onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons minced garlic (use less or more depending on your taste preferences)
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup olive oil or canola oil
- 2 cans (28 oz) whole plum tomatoes
- 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
- 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 Tablespoon dried basil
- Saute onion, garlic, celery, and red chili flakes in olive oil unil soft and fragrant, about 6 minutes over medium heat.
- Add whole tomatoes, stir and crush with the back of a spoon until chunky.
- Add tomato sauce and tomato paste, sugar and salt. Stir until combined. Bring up to a low simmer.
- Add oregano and basil. Continue to simmer and stir occassionally until tomato cooks down, about 45 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely. Blend in food processor or with immersion blender until desired consistency.
I pack it in gallon or quart size freezer bags and freeze to take camping, then thaw what I need for each meal, adding ground hamburger or meatballs to have with spaghetti.
Variation to make Sloppy Joes
Warm 2 cups of prepared sauce (about 1 quart freezer bag) and add in cooked ground beef/turkey/chicken. Add in 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 Tablespoon of Worcester Sauce, and 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar. Simmer until sauce cooks down slightly and serve over buns.
Written by Amy Kovach, Girl Camper Guide, South Carolina