I had a 6 pound can of peeled whole tomatoes in my pantry. Don’t ask questions… It’s a long story that involves a trip to a price club store and lots of exclamations like “Wow, that’s a huge can of tuna!” or “Check out the size of that bag of chips!” Long story short, the 6 pound can of tomatoes was purchased for the sole purpose of making my hubby laugh when he saw the giant can of tomatoes hanging out in the pantry with the regular-sized cans. I guess you had to be there.
This is where my recipe for slow cooked tomato sauce comes in. After the giant can of tomatoes joke started to wear off, I was left with a giant can of tomatoes in my pantry, taking up half of the shelf. I couldn’t just let it sit there any longer, so I decided to make a giant batch of tomato sauce. I picked up a bunch of mushrooms and peppers at the store and decided to make a chunky sauce to go with some pasta. I was reminded of the sauce from a chicken cacciatore recipe I made a while ago that calls for curry powder. It seemed like a strange ingredient, but I remembered liking the flavor it added to the sauce. So, I threw a bit of curry powder in my sauce, as well. Call me crazy!
Since I had a meeting at work, I decided to prep the sauce one evening and let it cook in my slow cooker the next day. I threw in some Italian sausage and let that simmer in the sauce during the afternoon and served it over some whole wheat pasta.
The best part is that we have plenty of leftover sauce! Some will go in the freezer and some will be used in a few leftover recipes in the next few days! Perhaps I’ll even share a few of them with you… I guess it depends on how they turn out.
Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 10 – 12 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 large yellow onions, diced
- 2 pounds sweet peppers, diced
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, diced
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- Kosher salt
- 6 pounds of canned and peeled whole tomatoes, drained
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, and peppers and cook until tender. Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional minute or two.
Add the tomato paste and seasonings, liberally seasoning with Kosher salt. Stir until all of the ingredients are incorporated to make a thick base for the sauce.
Meanwhile, add the canned tomatoes to the bowl of a large slow cooker, breaking them up with your fingers or a wooden spoon. You don’t really need to chop the tomatoes because they will cook down as the sauce cooks. Stir in the vegetable mixture.
Cook on low for 8 – 10 hours. Adjust seasonings to taste prior to serving.