Fresh Tomato Sauce
I have focused my blogs the past few weeks on what to do with all the veggies you're getting from your garden or summer farmers markets. Today, I'm focusing again on tomatoes (because there are always so many of them!) and making tomato sauce. Not just any tomato sauce but a fresh tomato sauce.
There is a difference between a tomato bought at the store and a ripe and juicy tomato that was just plucked from the plant. If you need further convincing, check my salsa blog to see how the fresh tomato salsa beat the store tomato versions.
The best thing about tomato sauce is that it can be frozen to enjoy when the temps cool and you are craving those sweet flavors of summer with pasta. I remember summers as a kid standing with a food mill for what seemed like hours for days on end squishing tomatoes so my mom could can them for the winter months.
Today, I still squish those tomatoes (maybe only for a couple of days) but take the extra step to make tomato sauce and I can use fresh basil from the garden. The recipe I'm sharing below doesn't cook the sauce for hours so that the sauce keeps that fresh tomato flavor as much as possible. To freeze, just let the sauce cool and then divide among freezer bags and pop in the freezer.
If you have too many tomatoes and looking for other ways to use them, this sauce is amazing. Don't forget to save a bit for dinner tonight!
Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce
5 lbs tomatoes
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 garlic clove, halved
6-8 basil leaves
1 bay leaf
1. Cut tomatoes in half horizontally. Squeeze out the seeds and discard. Press the cut side of the tomato against the large holes of a box grater and grate tomato flesh into a bowl. Discard skins. You should have about 4 cups.
2. Put tomato pulp in a low wide saucepan over high heat. Add salt, olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, basil and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a brisk simmer.
3. Reduce the sauce by almost half, stirring occasionally, to proceed about 2 1/2 cups medium-thick sauce, about 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. It will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator or may be frozen.