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Remember This Important Step When Making Chunky Tomato Sauce

Chunky tomato sauce and ingredients
Chunky tomato sauce and ingredients - Ildi Papp/Shutterstock

It's so easy to pick up a can of tomato sauce at the grocery store, and some are very good. That's especially true if you find a fresh-tasting sauce with minimal added sugar and plenty of cherry or plum tomatoes such as Roma or San Marzano. However, there's a much better way to get that rich, tasty, aromatic sauce you crave for pasta, soups, seafood, stews, and Margherita pizzas. Make the sauce yourself with just a handful of ingredients and a good bit of kitchen love.

If you like your sauce smooth, it will likely need a run through a food processor, blender, or food mill -- but what about those days when you want a hearty, chunky tomato sauce? This is the kind that proudly makes its presence known, with a full-bodied blend of stewy tomatoes in almost every bite. Bypass the whirling blades and pulsating immersion gadgets for this one, instead letting the heat of your stovetop burner or slow cooker do its magic. But it's not quite as simple as plopping the ingredients in the pot and stirring when needed.

The important step when making chunky tomato sauce centers on the tomato skins and their coresThey need to be removed, but not as you might imagine. Rather than peeling and coring those perky fresh tomatoes at the beginning, it's crucial that they remain intact when entering the pot.

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Read more: 20 Popular Canned Soups, Ranked Worst To Best

Consistency Is Key To Making Chunky Tomato Sauce

Making homemade tomato sauce
Making homemade tomato sauce - Gmvozd/Getty Images

A truly chunky tomato sauce is not about the other ingredients in your favorite recipe; it's about the tomatoes themselves. While garlic cloves, onions, chopped celery, spices, and other sauce enhancers can simmer unattended, melding together in a cohesive blend, the tomatoes need to remain at least partially intact. Keeping the skins and cores in place when entering the heated pot helps that happen. Whether they join the party in whole form or sliced isn't crucial, as long as the skins are still there to keep the tomatoes from softening too quickly into a smooth sauce.

That said, you don't really want a finished sauce with stringy cooked skins or semi-soft cores. That's why you'll gently pull them out as the tomato sauce evolves. The skins and cores will loosen and separate as the tomatoes simmer and soften, making it easier to remove them before the sauce fully cooks and thickens.

When using a slow cooker for making chunky tomato sauce, let it simmer low and slow, checking the consistency every couple of hours. If you're going the stovetop route, make that every few minutes. For quicker sauce on busy days, consider using jarred or canned tomatoes, specifically ones labeled as whole tomatoes. In this form, the skins have typically been removed already, and the tomatoes are partially cooked, meaning a much faster cooking time while still enjoying juicy, chunky bits of tomatoes in your sauce.

Read the original article on Tasting Table