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Emily Stokes
I'm a lady who loves cheese, sour cream, & ice cream, but I recently became lactose intolerant. My key focus in recreating dairy recipes is taste, but I try to be as health conscious as possible. Some of my recipes are low lactose rather than dairy free. I'm also a writer, teacher, nanny, dog mom, housewife, native Yinzer, current Californian, and social organizer extraordinaire.

Homemade Cabernet Tomato Basil Sauce

Making your own tomato sauce can be super easy!

There are many complicated and time consuming ways to make tomato sauce. I researched a thousand recipes that all called for skinning the tomatoes and boiling down the sauce to make a thick, rich tomato sauce.

For one thing, I didn’t want to toss out all the skins–it seemed so wasteful. I’ve been refining my gardening skills which is why I need to make tomato sauce. I spent months caring for my plants to get those beautiful tomatoes! Maybe I could toss the skins of store bought tomatoes but not my homegrown roma’s. Besides, the skins have the highest concentration of antioxidants.* I’d rather not throw out the health benefits.

Aren’t they so pretty?

I also don’t have the right tools for pureeing and straining, and I didn’t want to stand at the stove boiling the sauce forever. I mean, come on, I have laundry to do!

So I took my own fresh approach. I got out the slow cooker to make it easier. I generally like my tomato sauce herby and with a touch of sweetness. A sweet and salty tomato basil sounded perfect for my roma’s, and since I’ve been growing oregano as well, I decided to add that to the batch. Finally, I added a taste of cabernet to give it a unique flavor. My husband said it was award winning! It’s definitely the type of sauce I would expect of a great restaurant.

Honestly, homemade tomato sauce is simple and it’s hard to go wrong. It’s much healthier than store bought sauce and tastes better. By eliminating some of the steps it becomes a quick process yet maintains great quality. You know what you put into it and know what you get out of it.


2 cups roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped (makes 2 servings)
1/3 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons cabernet sauvignon
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
10-12 fresh oregano leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped


1. Turn your slow cooker on high. While it’s warming up, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Toss onions into the saucepan and sprinkle with a pinch of the sea salt and pepper. Cook for three minutes or until tender, then add minced garlic. Cook for no more than thirty seconds.

Should look like this.

Are those tomatoes chopped? I like that my “waste” pile is very small.

2. Add tomatoes and wine to the saucepan and stir to combine with oil, onion, garlic mixture. Let cook for a minute, then add sugar, the rest of the sea salt and pepper, oregano, and basil. Stir to combine. Cook for five minutes, uncovered.

Two cups.
Salt and peppered.

4. Transfer to hot slow cooker and let cook on high for one hour. I let my Crock Pot heat up for 15 minutes before transferring the sauce. A doubled recipe may need another half hour to an hour to cook. You can also simmer over medium low heat on the stovetop for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over pasta–I used tri-color farfalle and added some ground turkey cooked with a little salt and pepper.

Cooking in the Crock Pot.

This recipe makes about 2-3 servings, enough for one meal for a couple. Easily double if you need to make more or want to freeze some for later. I have about enough patience to chop two cups of tomatoes at a time :-).

Finished product.

Fun Facts:

*Did you know that the olive oil in the sauce helps your body to absorb the carotenoids found in tomatoes?

*Also, in the case of tomatoes, cooking for prolonged time at high temperatures makes carotenoids more available. I got my info from

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