On Monday my father in law gave me a bucket of tomatoes from his garden.
I knew right away that I wanted to make sauce with them. I had never made sauce without the aid of a certain kitchen tool….
I started by making an X through the skin on the bottom of the tomatoes.
I gently placed the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds, 1 or 2 at a time.
Then removed and put them into an ice bath. Once they were cool enough to handle, the skins peeled right off.
I seeded and roughly chopped the tomatoes. The recipe calls for 3 lbs of tomatoes, but I would estimate that I had at least 6 lbs.
The tomatoes went into a large pot with the salt and pepper. Cooked on med-high until it bubbled, then turned to med-low.
I didn’t need to puree my sauce, it cooked down to a nice thick consistency.
The sauce is flavored very simply.
In a small saucepan, I heated the olive oil over a very low heat. I added two cloves of garlic, slightly smashed, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and two basil leaves. I let these cook very low until the oil was fragrant.
I let my sauce simmer for just over an hour. Then strained the oil and added it to the sauce.
Honestly, this was the best batch of tomato sauce I have ever made.
The tomato flavor was pure and sweet. The infused oil gave it a little bit of depth, but didn’t overwhelm the tomatoes. I could have eaten it like soup. Good thing this batch was just for Jerry and I, since I “tasted” it a dozen times with the wooden spoon.
Normally I buy canned whole tomatoes and seed and hand crush them for my sauce. This recipe was an additional step and made less sauce.
But it was definitely worth it. Especially when you can get your hands on locally grown tomatoes.
And you can leave the can opener in the drawer.