Updated on 09.07.14

Summer Meal Series #6: Simple Homemade Pasta and Pizza Sauce

Trent Hamm

What’s on the table this summer?

Homemade Pasta

Today’s meal looks like a simple pasta…


… and it is, except that we do something a little different than most people seem to these days.

You see, we’re pretty picky about our sauce. We have found a few store-bought pasta sauces that we like, but they’re often $5 a jar or more. That’s a lot of money to pay if you have pasta with any regularity.

Our solution, of course, is to simply make the sauce ourselves.

This solves several concerns all at once. It gives us complete control over the ingredients for health and flavor concerns, but perhaps more importantly, it reduces the cost of a meal’s worth of sauce down to approximately the same cost as the absolute cheapest pasta sauce on the shelves.

In short, we can make pasta sauce at home that’s tastier and more appealing to us than any canned sauce we’ve found – even the $5-10 sauces – for less than $1 per jar (about $1.80 or so if you include lean ground beef in it, as we do).

The trick, of course, is that we make several batches of it at once and freeze all but one of them. In this example, we’re making five “jars” of sauce with a set of ingredients that’s just shy of $5.


A few notes on the ingredients, before I list them.

The ground beef is entirely optional in this recipe. If you want a meat sauce, use it. If you don’t, don’t use it. We used about 2.5 lbs. of ground beef in this recipe, averaging out to about 8 ounces of it per “batch,” or about 2 ounces per dinner plate for our family. I’d recommend using 2.5 pounds.

Second, we used canned diced tomatoes and sauce because, frankly, the fresh tomatoes aren’t quite here yet in Iowa. In about a month, we would be using fresh tomatoes for all of this, but the tomatoes currently in the store are still what I would consider ridiculously expensive. If you want to use all fresh ingredients, wait until tomatoes are in peak season and use fresh tomatoes for all of it. The price will be very reasonable and the flavor will be sublime.

What You’ll Need

Here’s our ingredient list.

4 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 28 ounce can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2.5 to 3 lbs. ground beef or ground pork (optional – if you don’t wish to use it, you can certainly add more vegetables)
2 4 ounce cans mushrooms (very optional – we didn’t use them)

You can, of course, add any other vegetables and spices you like. Chopped peppers are a good addition, for example.


What to Do Next: Step by Step

1. Vegetable prep work

First, we chopped up the onions. We use an ulu knife (a gift) for this. It’s a special type of knife with a rounded blade that makes chopping vegetables quite easy. You basically grab the knife by the handle and rock it back and forth on the board – it chops vegetables quite well.

We also chopped up the basil and oregano:


We used fresh herbs in this. If you don’t have access to fresh herbs, dried basil and oregano work just fine. We just happen to have oregano all over the place this year (oregano sometimes just goes crazy in an herb garden), so we might as well use it.

2. Cook the meat, onion, and garlic together in a big pot until the meat is browned

If you’re not using meat, cook until the onion is browned a bit and really flavorful


It’s cooking!

3. Once the meat/onions are ready, drain them, then add the rest of the ingredients

Stir it well, then let it simmer for 45 minutes. If you’re using mushrooms, add them after thirty minutes of simmering.

Here’s the sauce after most of the simmering is finished.


4. Once it’s done simmering, just split it into five equal batches and freeze four of them

We happened to have a bunch of leftover Ziploc quart freezer bags, which are perfect for this. Here are our bags, about ready to go into the freezer:


These freeze up really well. If we want to have a pasta meal – or a homemade pizza – that night, we just pull a bag out in the morning and stick it in the refrigerator. By evening, it’s ready to be warmed up to the desired temperature and still tastes great if used within six months or so.

As for the meal itself?


It was delicious. We had bread on the side with it (and some yoghurt after the meal) and it went over very well. We had a small amount of sauce left over, so we also made a lunch that consisted of the remaining sauce and a bit of the remaining pasta.

What did the sauce cost?

Here’s our cost on the ingredients.

4 medium onions, chopped – $1.60
2 cloves garlic, minced – $0.50
2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes – $2.38
1 28 ounce can tomato sauce – $1.19
1 tablespoon basil – $0.05 (from dried, estimated)
1 tablespoon oregano – $0.05 (from dried, estimated)
2 teaspoons salt – $0.02
1 teaspoon sugar – $0.02
1/4 teaspoon pepper – $0.01
2.5 to 3 lbs. ground beef or ground pork (optional) – $4.23

With the meat included, it totaled $10.05, so when you split it into five batches, each sauce batch cost $2.01. Very good for hearty sauce with meat.

Without the meat, it totaled $5.82, so when you split that into five batches, each sauce batch cost $1.16. That’s incredible, considering similar sauces at the store would easily be $5 a batch. We dearly love this stuff and prefer it to any store sauce we’ve tried.

Over the course of the five batches, if you’re normally buying large jars of gourmet sauce at $5 a jar, you’re saving $3.84 per meal. Over the five batches you made, you’ll save $19.20 – not bad for less than an hour’s work!

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  1. Joanna says:

    I love the summer recipe series, Trent. These are great ideas.. simple, but often overlooked. I look forward to them every Friday.

  2. Johanna says:

    Instead of meat, put some arugula and some good black olives. It’s awesome. And the sauce goes together in the same amount of time as it takes to cook the pasta.

  3. Scotty says:

    I recently got into making my own pasta, and I simply can’t have dried or store-bought anymore. It’s as simple as mixing eggs and flour. It’s almost embarrassing how easy it is.

    Fresh pasta sauces, like Trent’s, are also embarrassing easy to make. The first time I made some home-made Alfredo I was simply blown away. Yet again, I can’t stand restaurant-made Alfredo anymore.

    Alfredo sauce is simple. This is my own minor adaptation of Mario Batali’s:

    1. Melt about a stick of butter in a pan
    2. Add 1 or 2 (or more if you like) finely chopped cloves of garlic (let it fry in the butter a bit). I usually only add 1 clove of garlic.
    3. Add about a cup of cream. Some say buttercream or heavy cream, but that stuff it just too rich for me. I use regular coffee cream.
    4. Add a good cup or two (to your own taste and texture) of graded Parmesan cheese. The better the quality / age, the more tasteful the sauce will be.
    5. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
    6. Let simmer for 2 min.

    Takes about 5 minutes. Makes enough for a pasta main dish for 4 people. Keep in mind that this is only enough to barely coat the noodles, not drown the pasta in a giant bowl of sauce. Double the recipe if you like a bit of pasta to go with your bowl of sauce, like how most restaurants serve it. You can cut back on the butter and substitute milk for cream if you’re on a diet. The key is good quality cheese. If you use bland bulk stuff, the sauce will mimic said flavor.

  4. Steve Crane says:

    It’s good to keep a bottle of balsamic vinegar in the cupboard. A splash or two does wonders for the flavour of dishes like this.

    I also like to stir in some feta or blue cheese when I cook a sauce like this. Skip the ground beef and try it with chopped bacon or salami and one of the cheeses.

  5. meagan says:

    another easy option if you have access to great fresh tomatoes.

    Cut up a bunch into quarters, place skin side down in a roasting pan. Use 1 head of garlic, break into cloves (don’t peel) and stick them in between the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and whatever other spices you want (I use oregano and basil, sometimes red pepper).

    Put in a 400 degree oven. Take out the garlic cloves using tongs after about 10 minutes or so, when they have become soft inside. COntinue roasting the tomatoes until they start to brown. Remove from cover.

    Squeeze the roasted garlic out from the peel. It will come out easily. Put the tomatoes, roasted garlic, a bit of balsamic vinegar, and more spices if you want in a blender/food processor. Blend until desired thickness, add water to thin if necessary. You may need to add a bit of sugar if the tomatoes are acidic.

    Since I discovered this recipe, I haven’t made tomato sauce another way. So easy, just requires some cutting, no watching the stove. Great as pizza sauce too.

  6. Mz Ruby says:

    You can make mini-pizzas with this sauce for kids and those with small appetites. Lightly toast some English muffin halves (to keep bread from getting soggy), top with the sauce, a few extras (black olives, green pepper, etc.), and finally some shredded mozzarella cheese.Then put under the broiler (toaster oven with broiler or top brown feature works well) just until cheese melts. It satisfies the craving for pizza without having to go to the trouble of making the crust!

  7. Leah W. says:

    Regular canned biscuit dough works great for mini pizzas, too. Just flatten them out a little and dress/top as you like, then bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

    Also, I’m pretty sure, unless you’re British, it’s spelled “yogurt.”


    Your friendly neighborhood journalism major

  8. lisa says:

    If you were able to get fresh tomatoes, how many is the equivalent of 2 28 oz cans?

  9. Courtney says:

    Thank you so much for doing this series. I’m really enjoying it. I’m hoping you’ll do a winter one too!

    Since I am a truly novice cook, can you tell me how many fresh tomatoes I should sub in for the canned if using fresh?

  10. kristine says:

    You could also cut back on half of the tomato sauce, and use it as an iceberg lettuce wrap filler, instead of with pasta.

    You might want to consider swapping out the bread to whole wheat. It’s more expensive, but healthier. The groc store day-old bakery whole wheat is a bargain, and suitable if you are going to toast it anyway. And Walmart’s whole wheat angel hair pasta is very good, and about the same as brand name processed white pasta.

  11. JP says:

    I would love it if you started an active cooking blog… these are some of my favorite posts!

  12. Dottie says:

    Last night my husband and I made homemade sauce for the third time with tomatoes from our garden. Each time we make it the time and efficiency improves and it really is soooo much better than the canned stuff. With a little more practice it will almost be as easy as opening the cans.
    I also love your cooking/ recipes posts and would like to see more.

  13. Beth says:

    Yummy! I’d probably make a vegetarian version with some kidney beans and plenty of veggies. (If you don’t pack it with veggies, you can also use it to top a veggie stir fry instead.)

    You could also use a meatless version of the sauce to simmer some chicken. Pita shells also make great pizzas too!

    Er… hungry now. Must go cook dinner! Enjoying the posts so far, Trent!

  14. Angie says:

    If you like frugal (but super tasty) recipes, I would check out the “Poor Girl Eats Well” blog. I just discovered a few weeks ago and it is awesome!

  15. Beth says:

    Oh, one quick suggestion — would love if these posts contained links to previous recipes in the series! Would be great for late-comers like me.

  16. Matthew says:

    Thanks for the easy recipe. I often make my sauce with peppers and Italian sausage when I can find it on sale for $.99 per pound.

    Do people find that in-season tomatoes are as consistently flavorful as canned tomatoes in a sauce?

  17. ira says:

    This is great: delicious and cheap! We love making my own sauce too. I like to let the sauce simmer with a little bit of inexpensive red wine as well (think Two-Buck Chuck).

    Oh, and Leah W. & Mz Ruby, my wife just started a new blog posting daily recipes — you might like the pizza dough: http://lauranav.com/2010/07/everyday-pizza-dough/

    Beth, take a look at the “Food” link midway down the page on the right where you’ll find a bunch of other recipes.

  18. Nick says:

    Sorry… have to be Devil’s Advocate, but what’s “Summer” about this exactly?

    Meat sauce is traditionally a winter-style dish unless you use fresh tomatoes… which you don’t.

    For people that are looking for good food blogs, there are thousands. You could click my name for one! :)

    Or you can also check out foodblogsearch dot com (I would link but it would get blocked). They pull together tons of really quality food blogs.

  19. Lisa says:

    I would either use TVP or soy ground for this. TVP would give you the protein but is not as expensive as the fake soy stuff. I am a firm believer of making things from scratch if it’s better and cheaper. I tend to buy ready made sauce in cans when it’s less than $1 for 700ml or so. There are only two of us so one can of this then adding veggies or TVP is perfect for us for dinner and leftovers. Thanks for posting this, it’s inspiring me to make sauce from scratch again!

  20. Loralai Kincaid says:

    I have been reading a few of these, but am concerned by the lack of veggies in the meals. It seems that they usually fulfill the grains and protein requirements, but seem to have some problems with the fruit and veggie requirements. Adding a simple side salad (with the proper ingredients) would greatly increase the nutritional benefits. That being said, I am enjoying the recipes for the main course, and like the way you use the photography to illustrate your writing and directions! Great blog, I enjoy reading!

  21. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    “Meat sauce is traditionally a winter-style dish unless you use fresh tomatoes… which you don’t.”

    I intended to use fresh tomatoes, but the tomatoes haven’t come in in Iowa yet and I wanted to get the post up before fresh tomatoes appeared in gardens in other parts of the country. I mentioned this just under the picture of the ingredients.

    Also, it’s a “summer meal series” because it’s running the length of the summer.

    “Since I am a truly novice cook, can you tell me how many fresh tomatoes I should sub in for the canned if using fresh?”

    It really depends on the size. I would use Romas (if available) and you should need six or eight of them.

  22. Dottie says:

    Last weekend I canned pint jars of tomato sauce. Tomatoe and salt only, no other ingredients and it takes about 6 pounds of tomatoes to make a pint. Last night when we made a sauce topping for our chicken parm, I used about 15 roma tomatoes.I do not think this would be enough for sauce to top pasta for 4 people.
    If you want to make the amount of sauce you have in the pot in your picture,I would guess at least 10-15 pounds. You really do need ALOT of fresh tomatoes to make sauce. I was very surprised the first time I made it.

  23. alilz says:

    Maybe the Roma tomatoes are different in Iowa but where I’m from Roma tomatoes are on the small side and I don’t think 6 or 8 is going to get you enough to make a sauce.

    I did a quick Google search for fresh tomato sauce using Roma tomatoes it seems like most of the recipes call for nearly 15-20 Roma tomatoes to make about 4 cups of sauce

  24. Malisa says:

    I just took a cooking class (on pizzas) and the chef said something very interesting. He was addressing a (familiar) comment about using canned tomatoes. He said that he uses whole canned tomatoes since the place that cans them likely uses their best tomatoes for the whole canned tomatoes, whereas for diced etc. they’d be using the left over bits and pieces. Makes you think.

  25. Bren says:

    Two fantastic ways of making this kind of sauce go further would be to add a handful of red lentils (you won’t even know they’re there but they make for a wonderful consistency) and grated carrot.

    Thanks for another great recipe, Trent! I, too, am looking forward to a winter version!

  26. This is a very easy meal to make, but very delicious

  27. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    I have no idea how many Romas it would take to make sauce. I was talking about the diced tomatoes. If a novice chef is thinking about making tomato sauce from scratch… good luck to them! I make tomato sauce usually every summer, but I make it from giant tomatoes with a lot of liquid, which is very hard to extrapolate to Romas.

  28. Mary says:

    If you make it vegetarian, you can also home-can a sauce like this too. (I’m not sure about canning meat). My husband and I have started canning lately to save money after our son was born, since we can buy fruits and vegetables in season when they are inexpensive and just make our own preserves, etc. We’ve made and canned tomato sauce like this or with fresh tomatoes (and without the meat) several times, and it keeps like a dream in the pantry. Good for when you don’t have a big freezer.

  29. Kat says:

    To the commenter who asked about subbing fresh tomatoes for canned- just weigh the tomatoes you buy to get 28oz, two or three average size tomatoes should fit the bill.

    Trent- if making the sauce from scratch, do you just sub in fresh tomatoes of the equivalent amount, or should you add extra herbs/do anything else? In other words I’ve seen many recipes for spaghetti sauce but they never explain how to make the canned tomato sauce if you don’t want to buy that.

  30. Barb says:

    I also love these posts, but making tomato sauce from scratch would not be difficult for a novice cook, its a fairly easy recipe-unless you are canning stead of freezing in which case the technique is a bit more difficult. My children made five pints of hommade barbecue sauce today for the first time.

  31. Lindsey says:

    @ Matthew: Look at the sodium content of your canned tomatoes, the salt enhances the flavor. Store-bought tomatoes definitely don’t have the same flavor as home-grown, sun-ripened tomatoes.
    In a sauce, I would prefer canned over fresh-from-the-store tomatoes, but sun ripened are the best! If you don’t have a garden plot, you can find a specific tomato plant to grow on your patio -“Patio Tomato” is the variety. I have one and we have about 20 small fruits on the plant & have already ate 5 or 6 (little) tomatoes which have packed more flavor than any store-bought tomato I’ve ever tasted! Just make sure your pot is big enough!

    @ Kat & Novice Chef: When I’ve made tomato sauce from scratch, I use about 1/2 cup of water, depending on the size of the batch, and a bunch of fresh tomatoes, chopped. (My family is notorious for never knowing measurements in our homemade recipes -sorry!) I let the herbs & tomatoes simmer for a long time to thicken it, at least an hour of hard simmering. If your tomatoes are really juicy, use less water as your base so you don’t have to cook it for so long.

    Trent, I like the meal series, I’m always looking for new ideas for dinner!

  32. Ospreyy says:

    Cool you are using an Ulu knife! Very handy.

  33. Louise says:

    YUMMMMM! :-) I love your cooking posts; so inspiring! Thank you so much!

  34. Gudrun says:

    For novices using fresh tomatoes, take the time to peel them. Finding tomato peelings in sauce is off putting.
    If you are cooking for a family, as I do, making a stock pot full
    of a recipe like this takes only a bit longer and and makes the kitchen just as messy.

  35. Alison says:

    I absolutely abhor canned spaghetti sauce… was very interested in how you make your sauce… it’s very similar to mine. You just can’t beat fresh herbs, I use basil exclusively, not a huge fan of oregano.
    I don’t think people realize how much sugar is in canned tomato sauce… I don’t think it’s even sugar, it’s that high fructose corn syrup, Worse!
    I have five children and spaghetti is one of those cheap easy tasty standbys…Spring Winter Summer or Fall :)I use whole wheat blend pasta too, trying to reduce the “white” food in the house and am willing to pay a little more for that, but it still is a cheap meal.
    Love your columns

  36. kk says:

    Great post. I’m a vegetarian so I use different sorts of veggies in the sauce…Bell pepper, carrots, Zuccini, broccoli, leeks. Depending on the season and what’s on sale. Sometimes I add cottage cheese & it gives the sauce a nice rich flavor. I use whole canned tomatoes though in my recipe because they are much cheaper than the canned diced tomatoes. I have to blend the veggies anyway. (The kids like the veggie pieces small.)

  37. Aunt Jenny says:

    I love my homemade spagghetti sauce! I’ve been making my own for about 5 years now and I will never go back to Prego. I just make a nice marinara sauce with onions, garlic, and basil. I also add a sweet white wine to mine. I also use the sauce for pizzas too.

    Like you said, one of the good things about making your own is that you can control your the ingredients that are in it. The problem I have always had with the bottled/canned sauce is that it is typically so high in sodium. Making your own can significantly reduce the sodium content of your sauce, which is just good for everyone!

    Keep the cooking posts coming! I also get a lot of good ideas from the comments too :)

  38. NRB2 says:

    Milk, wine, and spaghetti…mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  39. Bubamara says:

    Never bought a canned/jarred sauce in my life!
    I do something similar to Trent, but don’t really use a recipe..Just wanted to comment that I use whatever vegetables I have in the fridge. Usually celery, carrots, green peppers, garlic, and onions, but also zucchini, green onions, squash, etc. If you want to make it smoother and perhaps hide the vegetables from your children (or their friends ;)), run it through the blender. I make as much as will fit in my largest pot, and freeze in portions for future use. Blending to smoothness makes it better for pizza sauce as well.
    If you are in a big hurry for pizza sauce, I just run a can of diced tomatoes, part of an onion, and a clove of garlic through the blender along with the appropriate spices. Very good and fast!!
    HTH :)

  40. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    When I’ve made sauce in the past, I’ve basically just made juice and boiled it until it was thick.

    We have a Victoria strainer, so we’ll take a bunch of tomatoes, run them through the strainer to extract the juice, then put that juice on the stovetop and boil it until we’re happy with the thickness (usually about a six hour simmer with regular stirring). The trick, really, is straining – unless you want a TON of work, an actual fruit/vegetable strainer is vital.

    Since the sauce will see a lot of different uses, we don’t flavor it at all with spices.

  41. bakednudel says:

    You got two packages of ground round for about $4? Meat must be significantly cheaper in Iowa.

    Here in NC I usually pay about $5.00/lb for Angus lean hamburger–and it’s even more at Whole Foods.

  42. Bill says:

    Cool knife, your cutting board looks concave as well are they a pair or is it just a coincidence?

  43. GayleRN says:

    What is a Victoria strainer?
    This looks like a very friendly recipe, that I can easily cut in half for my smaller needs.
    I am not sure what to make of the milk and wine together.

  44. Bill says:

    For what it’s worth, I’ve tested other diced tomatoes and sauces and the Dei Fratelli is the best we’ve tried. It’s also one of the most reasonable. We buy it by the case.

  45. G says:

    Great post. I have recently started making my own sauce as well, and we love it. We skip the meat as one of us is a vegetarian, the others may add in a bit of leftover meat to their portion if there is some in the fridge.

    Try adding a grated or minced carrot to the onions, they add great taste and sweetness and need to cook down a bit. I also add about a half teaspoon of sugar at the very end if needed, as the sauce can’t be at all tart for my faimily.

  46. Don-nae says:

    This looks really good. I typically through in a can of stewed tomatoes as they add additional flavor in place of fresh or regular canned tomatoes (of course you can always make homemade stewed tomatoes as well). Plus if you add a can of stewed tomatoes you do not need to add the sugar.

    Another option to make this slightly healthier is to add spinach, mushrooms and zucchini along with ground turkey. At least in south california, ground turkey is almost always on sale. Of course it will be a little more expensive than the beef, but only by a few cents.

  47. Emily says:

    Great recipe. I might use lean ground turkey, bay leaf and add some wine or beer instead of the sugar.

    Keep those recipes and ideas coming. I love them as they kick start me out of cooking the same old thing all the time.

  48. Skirnir Hamilton says:

    I also use a ulu knife that was a gift from a relative in Alaska. I love my ulu knife. For an unskilled knife user like me, it works well. I do not have the cutting board that Trent has, though. For anyone not skilled in the use of a knife, for cutting vegetables and such an ulu knife works well.

  49. socalgal says:

    Great series, Trent. I would go a tad further though & show everyone how easy it is to make homemade pasta. It tastes so much better & it really makes an ordinary pasta meal extraordinary.

  50. Kittie says:

    For the novice cooks out there, If you are using dried herbs, add them to the beginning of the simmer time. If using fresh herbs, (as pictured above) add during the last few minutes to get the best flavor.
    This is true regardless of the dish you are creating.

  51. This is definitely a great meal to make for a 1st date

  52. Gretchen says:

    Cook first, then strain.

    A huge pia, in my opionion, to get enough sauce from fresh tomatoes- even with saucing tomatoes.

  53. Steven says:

    I’d split the ground beef into smaller batches so that you actually brown the meat. And I also like to use one of those small can’s of tomato paste, gives it a much richer flavor, in a shorter amount of time, and thickens the sauce a lot too. Otherwise, just like my recipe, unless I’m in the spicy mood and add chili flakes and tabasco.

    Adding some of the cooked pasta water will thicken the sauce a bit due to starches, if you ever find the sauce too runny.

  54. DougR says:

    Been making a version of this for years as “lunch,” putting it up in single-serving-size tupperware containers and freezing them.

    I like tricolor radiatore (my job isn’t all that interesting and I can always use a lift) and I also use around a TB of smoked chili powder, plus nicoise olives. Sometimes I grate a carrot or two & throw them in–gives the sauce some body and a little sweetness.

    Yeah, Trent, love the budget cooking posts!! Keep it up!

  55. Vickie says:

    I am really enjoying your summer meal series. Keep the ideas coming. I appreciate them. ☺

  56. elderly librarian says:

    Dei Fratelli also makes the “no salt” varieties, which is what we use exclusively for a sphaghetti sauce. They dont add any other ingredients like high fructose, etc. and it tastes pretty good.

  57. Kate says:

    Great idea making the huge batch and freezing using ziplocs. I’m going to do that too, though sadly the meat and canned tomatoes are about double in NY.

  58. Parrothead says:

    I suggest going to startcooking.com for suggestions about how to photograph recipies. Her presentation is much cleaner and appealing.

  59. Cathy says:

    Does anyone ever find that it’s very expensive to make a recipe like in the article when trying to use grass-fed organic beef and trying to buy tomatoes in jars versus cans because of the BPA in the can liner? I was impressed by the cost breakdown and it is usually cheaper and healthier to cook at home but in my case it actually can become more expensive than eating out though the health benefits are stellar.

  60. Canning CAN be done with meats. You just have to use a pressure canner. I’m hoping to do some more canning soon, and this recipe will be on the list! I’ve found the National Center for Home Food Preservation (online) to be the most helpful site for learning to can and making sure to do it safely.

  61. The Head Hunter says:

    And how much is your time worth? it cost you $1.16 but you didn’t factor in your time. The prep, the cooking, the storing, the reheating, etc…

    Every sauce in the store at some point has a sale of 2-2.50 per bottle. For $2.00 you get a sauce that takes ZERO time. It costs 86 cents more in $ cost, but the time savings are literally INFINITE.

    Mathematically, you’re better off with an INFINITE return, vs an 86 cent return. And as far as taste is concerned, it’s all in your head because people enjoy what they produce more than an alternative.

  62. Johanna says:

    @Head Hunter: First of all, the time you save is not INFINITE – it’s, perhaps, a few minutes. And it takes more than zero time to open a jar of pasta sauce and heat it up on the stove or in the microwave.

    Second, if you eat your pasta sauce with pasta, you need to spend a few minutes cooking that anyway. And unless you like your pasta stuck to the bottom of the pot, you can’t go very far from the kitchen during that time. So you don’t actually lose anything by spending that time making a sauce from scratch.

    Third, of course taste preferences are all in your head. That’s where preferences, thoughts, and opinions (not to mention taste buds) are usually stored. Does that mean they’re not real?

  63. Chalon says:

    Ack. Canned tomatoes are so bad for you. The plastic lining leaches chemicals into the tomatoes. (I am going to play around with jarring tomatoes next year, I hope) But overall great suggestion, this is what I do with meat given to us by our hunter friends. I made this with ground elk not to long ago. MMMMM.

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