Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce with Roasted Red Peppers is a simple sauce that you can use on top of pasta, chicken, casseroles, and so much more. Although you don’t have to let it cook overnight, its taste if you can wait a day to enjoy it.
Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce
One taste of this and you’ll never use store bought sauce again
To Make Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce All You Need Is
- A big pot, a lidded Dutch oven works great.
- Olive oil
- Sweet Peppers
- Red Wine
How many times have we said that simple is best, even when it comes to cooking? No other recipe illustrates this principle better than Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce.
Keeping it Simple
Purists will tell you to seed your tomatoes and furthermore to get rid of the skins. Certainly, you can do that if you wish. When I first started making my homemade tomato sauce, I would leave everything, including the seeds and skins.
Then, I read that tomato seeds add bitterness and that the skins in general also detracted from the flavor and the sauce presents better without the skins.
And so, for a few years, I did the arduous process of hot water blanching, skinning and seeding all of the tomatoes. This proved to take a lot of both time and effort, but I always told myself that I was doing it in the name of good culinary practice and in the name of better taste.
Keeping it Delicious
Fast forward a few years later, and I have a conversation about this practice with our dear friend, daughter of Italia and creator of our Viva Italia series. When I asked Paola her thoughts about this issue, and her response was, “Ah! I throw the whole thing (tomaot0) in the pot and let it cook.”
Paola is one of the best cooks that I know. In case you are wondering, and as you might have guessed, I stopped seeding and skinning my tomatoes for slow-cooked tomato sauce and have never looked back.
You probably noticed that we did not use a slow cooker or crockpot to make this slow cooked tomato sauce; good observation! Now, this will come as quite a surprise to many of you, but you don’t need either to make a slow cooked “anything.”
Yes, a slow cooker or crock pot is an excellent tool for this sauce. Instead, though, I made this slow-cooked tomato sauce a one-pot wonder and used my Lodge Dutch oven, from start to finish. By the way, this particular brand rates among the highest of Dutch ovens and also among the most affordable. Can you say, “Win, Win!?
We like to make the best use of fresh summer produce that we can, and moreover, we used some roasted sweet peppers in our slow cooked tomato sauce.
How to Roast a Pepper in y0ur Oven
- Place pepper in a hot oven at 400℉.
- Allow roasting until bubbly and brown all over. It’s not pretty by the time it finishes but remember, beauty is only skin deep!
- Once you take it out of the oven, let it steam in a paper bag for five minutes.
- Crimp the opening of the paper bag closed to keep the heat inside.
- Remove from paper bag and then peel the skin off.
- Cut the pepper in half, remove pith and seeds and then slice or dice, as needed.
As you will see in the full recipe below, this Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce could hardly be any easier to put together, thus making for a fresh and flavorful sauce. Sweet bell peppers are in season now and therefore create a great backup cast to the stars of this sauce, the red, ripe, and juicy tomatoes. Give this sauce a try this weekend and have a fresh taste of summer. There will never be a better time to make it.
Have a Taste of Summer, Next January
By the way, this freezes well too and will taste almost as good in February as it does tomorrow night when you pour it over that big bowl of spaghetti. We wish you a happy summer, all year long, and in essence, this recipe will help get you just that. -Dan
Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce with Roasted Sweet Peppers
- 2 to 2½ pounds fresh ripe tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 to 4 garlic cloves to taste
- 3/4 cup red wine
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pinch sugar
- 2 sprigs fresh basil
- 1-2 large sweet bell peppers seeded, peeled and, cut into strips.
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste optional
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute and then add red wine and reduce to half volume.
- Add tomatoes, peppers, salt, pepper, sugar and basil sprigs and then increase heat to medium-high. When tomatoes are bubbling briskly, stir and reduce heat to low simmer and cover.
- Allow to cook on low for a couple of hours, or overnight if possible. Stir every once in while. Remove basil sprigs and then taste and adjust seasoning to your preference.
- Use immersion blender to smooth out the sauce. Do not over blend, leave some texture as desired. If sauce is watery, remove cover and allow to reduce while cooking. Thicken with optional tomato paste if desired. Serve when ready and garnish with chopped fresh basil.
This slow cooked tomato sauce can certainly be made in a crock pot or other slow cooker. Simply follow the basic recipe and transfer sautéed ingredients to slow cooker.