Saturday, September 10, 2011

Homemade Tomato Sauce

There’s been an overflow of tomatoes in the Frog & PenguINNtomato sauce 813 (6) garden this year, so making fresh tomato sauce has been a regular kitchen project the past couple of weeks.

tomato sauce 813 (5)There are many  recipes on how to make a great tomato sauce. My mother used to do  home canning and I learned from helping her. Then, a couple of years ago, Grenville and I canned some jars and learned that: (1) it’s very time-intensive and (2) LOTS of tomatoes are needed to make a significant number of jars. Our result was 12 jars after many hours of work. This year, I’ve been making fresh tomato sauce, however, this time we’re freezing it.

Here’s the method I’ve been using.
Boil a pot of water. While it’s heating, score the bottom of each tomato with an “X.” When the water boils, carefully drop the tomatoes into the water until the skin loosens – usually less than 30 seconds.

Remove tomatoes from water and cool. Repeat until all tomatoes have been put in the pot. Once cooled, peel away the skins and de-seed the tomatoes by pressing them in your hands. Place a thin mesh strainer over a bowl to captures the juices. These are later added to the pot when the tomatoes are cooking.
tomato sauce 813 (1)tomato sauce 813 (2)
Cover the bottom of a large pot with olive oil. Finely dice up several garlic gloves, onion, pepper, fresh basil and oregano (if available; use dried if not) and a couple of carrots (something  read about that adds sweetness to the sauce.
tomato sauce 813 (9)tomato sauce 813 (10)
Sauté until veggies are softened. Not only will the tomato sauce 813 (11)veggies be very colorful, but the kitchen will smell just like an Italian restaurant.tomato sauce 813 (7) After the veggies and herbs have cooked awhile and softened, add tomatoes and simmer for a couple of hours until the tomatoes have broken down. I usually add a 1/2 can of tomato paste and the reserved tomato juice during this cooking process.
After simmering for a couple of hours, cool the tomatoes, then usetomato sauce 813 (12) an immersion blender to make into a smooth sauce – or leave chunky – if you prefer.

What if I don’t have any fresh tomatoes?”

When that happens to us in the winter months, I open 2 – 3  cans of crushed tomatoes, add onions, garlic and herbs and cook as above. Usually, I don’t need to puree this mix.
tomato sauce 813 (8)
It’s better than opening a jar of sauce.


Cicero Sings said...

I've been canning sauce and salsa but I had to buy my tomatoes as they just don't have enough time to grow in our neck of the woods. $16.99 for 25#.

Country Mouse Studio said...

good timing I'm just overwhelmed with tomatos

Daisy said...

It looks delicious, Beatrice. Sure looks like a lot of work, but well worth it, I'm sure.

Elaine said...

Homegrown or local tomatoes are my passion all summer. In the winter we only get imitation tomatoes so I indulge myself as long as I can. I don't have a lot of excess tomatoes for cooking as most of them get eaten raw, but those I do have get added to whatever sauce I am making. With temps dropping down I have picked all the green tomatoes and have them in the garage to ripen.

One Creative Soul Studio said...

MMMMMMMM, yummy! I got to your blog through a friend's and I love your recipe. Makes me really want to....uh...cook! My husband will be delighted. Your photography is amazing. I will be a regular visitor from now on.

Melanie Statnick said...

Your photos are wonderful! This looks yummers. Thank you for visting my blog and taking time to enjoy my posts. I would love to have you back. I have enjoyed your blog also. If you head that way and need a place to stay we'll look you up. We 2hrs from Richmond so well see where the road takes us sometime!

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