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So, you’ve decided to be adventurous and make your own tomato sauce. Fun! You head to the store for ingredients and discover that there are tons of different kinds of tomatoes. Which are best to make homemade sauce? Fresh or canned? Seasoned or salt-free? Crushed, whole, or diced? It just so happens that National Pasta are big fans of tomatoes, and we’re here for you! The number of tomatoes you need depends on the recipe, and your taste; it doesn’t hurt to pick up a little more than required just in case. Whether you use canned or fresh tomatoes depends on what’s available to you, particularly how much time you have to prepare.

There are thousands of tomato varieties throughout the world, and your local grocer doesn’t carry all of them. Ideally, you want your saucy tomatoes to have more flesh and fewer seeds. This will provide a heartier sauce, better likely to stick to your pasta and provide a satisfying texture. You also want ripe tomatoes at their most flavourful. Look particularly at beefsteak and plum varieties – San Marzano are lauded as the ideal sauce tomato. You can even do variety of varieties, including heirloom and less-acidic tomatoes.

The Perfect TomatoKeep in mind that you have to peel each and every tomato, so stay away from cherry tomatoes or anything that has a complicated shape. Just another reason plum varieties are recommended. To peel, score a shallow X in the bottom of each tomato and let them hang out in boiling water for a minute. Plunge blanched tomatoes into ice water until they’re cool enough to handle. The skins should slide right off. Then you chop and throw ‘em in the pot. See what we meant about your time being a factor?

Canned tomatoes offer an easier alternative to scratch sauce. Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are typically picked and packaged at their peak ripeness, providing you with full flavour. And they’re already blanched and peeled. Read labels carefully to get the can of tomatoes just right for you; seasoned, salt-free, whole, diced, crushed, or chopped. If you’re going to puree your sauce pick tomatoes already reduced to their smallest state.

What happens if the only tomatoes available to you are watery, seed-filled varieties? You’ll likely need to add more than the recipe calls for, and then thicken your sauce with a tablespoon or 2 of tomato paste. And you really want to shop at National Pasta!

Our favourite tomatoes for sauce are already in our sauce. And they taste just like homemade, because quality is first and foremost in everything on our shelves at National Pasta. But we’ve still got you covered for your DIY sauce adventures. Come in for a fine selection of European canned tomatoes including Aurora cherry tomatoes, Aurora Italian plum tomatoes, and Pomi strained tomatoes. We’ve also, of course, always got the pasta to accompany your delectable creation! Stop by either location today in Cambridge at 25 Struck Court unit 3 or in Guelph at 715 Wellington St. West to pick up our ready-made sauce, and everything you need to make your every meal a family favourite.

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Cambridge Store (Head Office)
25 Struck Court Unit 3
Cambridge, ON
N1R 8L2

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