Fresh Heirloom Tomato Sauce
You know what’s gross? Like really super gross?
Rotting tomatoes. The smell, the texture, the look…so very gross. It’s also gross that unfortunately I’ve come across several in my garden this year. And even more gross that I let a few rot after harvesting them.
And whatever you do don’t put a rotting tomato in your garbage can inside your house. I heard someone had to scrub and disinfect the whole can after such incident.
In order to prevent rotting tomatoes, you must use them before this stage occurs. Whodathunk?
With the memory of awful tomato stench still lingering in my sniffer, I whipped up a fresh heirloom tomato sauce to make up for lost tomatoes.
I don’t have a lot of experience in making marinara sauces, my other half doesn’t care for a red sauce so we very rarely have classic Italian dishes like spaghetti or lasagna. I had heard of slow roasting tomatoes first, so I thought I’d give that a try and kind of winged the rest of it. I’m certain I would not have achieved the depth of flavor in this sauce without the roasting.
And few steps it actually took – to create a really tasty red sauce fresh from the garden.
Step 1) Pick your tomatoes, wash up and roughly chop until you have filled a 18×13 baking sheet pan. Then rough chop some washed basil and thyme and sprinkle over tomatoes and also add several cloves of garlic. Drizzle tomatoes evenly with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place into a 300 degree oven and let roast for about 3 hours.
Step 2) You can save the roasted tomatoes in the fridge until you are ready to make the sauce, just pour all the juice and oil left on the pan into your container with the tomatoes or you can make your sauce right away.
Put the roasted tomatoes into a food processor and blend until smooth or at any consistency you like.
Step 3) At this point you could taste test and see if the flavors are to your satisfaction and if so serve with pasta if you processed when the tomatoes were still hot.
I roasted my tomatoes the day before so it needed to be warmed and I also added some additional ingredients to jazz it up some more. I sautéed 1/4 cup of chopped onion, two small sweet banana peppers, and a couple cloves of minced garlic in a large pan with some olive oil and then added my tomato mixture and brought to a simmer. I also added in some herbs including fresh basil and parsley, a sprig of thyme, dried oregano and salt and pepper to taste.
Throw in whatever you like and let simmer about 30 minutes so the flavors get a chance to blend.
Step 4) Serve sauce with pasta of your choice. This batch of sauce was the perfect amount for one regular-sized box of angel hair spaghetti.
I also served with mini-meatballs (about 3/4 inch around) made from Italian sausage sautéed in olive oil. A side of rosemary garlic french bread and you’ve got yourself a meal!
Great fresh, I bet this sauce would freeze well too. I’m sure if you’re a canner though, you’ve already been putting up all kinds of tomato stuff.
Maybe I should branch out to canning? Have any tips for a starter?