Staple Corner: Tomato Sauce with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Tomato Sauce with Sun-dried Tomatoes

When I first started cooking, I relied heavily on pre-prepared tomato sauces for my dishes. Since I learned how to make my own from fresh tomatoes, I never purchase tomato sauce anymore. It is relatively easy to make, and you can control the consistency and seasonings. The key to a nice thick sauce is to simmer the tomatoes over medium-low heat, uncovered, for about 30 to 40 minutes to let the flavors come out.

I served this tomato sauce over my penne with fennel, tomato sauce and blue cheese.

Tomato Sauce with Sun-Dried TomatoesTomato Sauce with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Recipe by
Published on May 7, 2007

Thick, robust, zesty and flavorful tomato sauce for pasta made with sun-dried tomatoes

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 to 50 minutes

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  • 10 to 12 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 to 6 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup robust red wine (optional)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 to 3 fresh green chilies or jalapeños (optional but recommended)
  • sea salt to taste
  • Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and chop, reserving the soaking liquid.

  • Heat the olive oil in a medium-large saucepan. Add the onions, garlic and carrot, and stir for 5 minutes. Add the red chili flakes and chilies or jalapeños if using, and sauté for a minute or two. Add the dried and fresh tomatoes as well as the red wine if using. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat. Continue to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the liquid is reduced and the sauce thickens. Add some of the reserved liquid used for soaking the sun-dried tomatoes if required, especially if not using the wine.

  • Remove from the heat and add salt to taste. Transfer the sauce to a blender, or using an electric hand blender, and process until smooth but chunky.

  • Refrigerate for up to a week in an air-tight container.

Makes about 5 to 6 cups


Anonymous said...

You really like things spicy. For my family, which means compromises, instead of jalapeno(which I like) we would add bay leaf, basil, oregano and if I think I can get away with it marjoram. heh

Lisa Turner said...

The nice thing about making your own is that you can adjust the balance of ingredients accordingly to satisfy your preferences. The recipes here are merely guidelines to inspire your own creations.

Your substitution sounds just fine. I await your sour dough recipe.

Anonymous said...

emaile the sourdough rec. I'm a lazy typer so I downloaded and then converted to what I do. Making dough is more like getting the right feel and less how much of the ingredients. I use our bread maker about 1/2 the time. I find kneading the dough and beating the hell out of it very therapeutic.

Also I find it hard where I live to get decent (tasty) tomatoes. Thankfully my wife's aging parents have a large garden we share and then we jar them in the fall.

Anonymous said...

I've been making my own tomato sauces for decades (albeit usually from canned tomatoes). Sun-dried tomatoes add a very nice depth of flavor. I hope I get enough of a harvest from my tomatoes to dry a lot of them!

Lisa Turner said...


Sun-dried tomatoes are an excellent addition indeed. I used to use tomato paste to thicken up the sauce a bit, but it's not necessary at all.

By the way, I do still plan to put up a recipe for paneer cheese, but life has been rather crazy of late. Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Lisa - to save time instead of posting the recipe for paneer why don't you just post the phone number from the restraunt you order it from?