Scale up or down for a smaller or larger slow cooker. You don’t have to be precise! And the chopped tomatoes can be very roughly chopped.
- 4 quarts fresh tomatoes, very roughly chopped with stems discarded
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Fill the slow cooker with chopped fresh tomatoes, stems discarded, and the garlic. Cover and cook on low overnight, or for about 8-10 hours.
- Remove the lid and let cool for 30-60 minutes. (This makes it possible to blend them without the risk of the steam making your blender explode. Which is key.)
- Use a large slotted spoon or small mesh spoon to scoop out the tomato solids and garlic into a blender, leaving the liquid in the slow cooker. Add oregano, salt, olive oil, and basil and blend into a smooth sauce. (You may need to do two batches.)
- Pour into freezer containers or storage bags and freeze for up to 1 year. Thaw overnight in the fridge. (Don’t worry if it looks a little separated—it will come back together when it’s warmed up.)
- To use, heat a pot over medium heat, add sauce, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Meat sauce: Brown 1 pound of ground beef, turkey, or even sausage before Step 5. Add the sauce and simmer, to make a simple meat sauce.
Ratatouille sauce: Add a chopped yellow squash, eggplant, and onion to the tomato mixture in the slow cooker. Proceed as directed.
Stovetop: You can do this method on the stovetop if you prefer, ladling off spoonfuls of liquid as it separates out. Or simply let it bubble away all day!