Frugal Healthy Recipe: Fresh Tomato Sauce

By Helen Chin Lui of The Healing Place in Medfield, MA 

Prep time: 60 minute
Cooking time: 2 hours of simmering

Sauce suggestion: Over spaghetti or rice noodles, lasagna, pizza, or  chicken, veal, or eggplant parmigiana.

Sauce can be frozen for 3-6 months. Most of the work in making the sauce is the time it takes to prepare the tomatoes. If you have a food processor, it is a great tool to use to process the vegetables quickly, but it is not necessary.

6lbs of tomato, peeled, and diced
¼c of olive oil
1 large thinly sliced, white or red onion
1 large diced carrot
1 large diced red or green pepper
1 small diced hot chili pepper with some seeds for heat (optional)
4-5 cloves of chopped garlic (more or less depending on taste)
1 small can of tomato paste
1/4c of lightly packed brown sugar
2t of salt (or to taste)
2t oregano leaves
2t basil leaves or ¼ c thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1c of good red wine
½ t pepper
½ t of hot pepper flakes (optional)

Tomato Preparation:
· Prepare 2 pots:
       Pot #1: In a medium pot, fill half way and boil water.
       Pot #2: Fill half way with cold or ice water and set aside.
· Depending on the size of your boiling water pot, drop 3-4 tomatoes. Once the tomato skin cracks (about 2 minutes,) using a slotted spoon move cooked tomatoes into the cold-water pot.
· Repeat cooking and moving with remaining tomatoes.
· From the cold water pot, peel each tomato with your fingers.
· Cut peeled tomatoes in half, and gently squeeze most of the tomato juice and seeds out into the sink.   Dice tomatoes into small pieces. Set diced tomatoes aside. (if juice and seeds are not removed, the sauce will be too watery and there will be too many seeds flowing in the sauce.)

Sauce Direction:
· In a large pot, pour olive oil and add crushed garlic. Cook over medium heat until brown. Stir occassionally.  Do not burn.
· Add onions, carrots, peppers, and cook until tender. Do not brown. Stir occasionally.
· Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Turn heat to high until boil, reduce heat to simmer low; with a partially cover pot, cook sauce for about 2 hours. Stir occasionally.

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