Monday, September 28, 2015

Homemade Tomato Sauce

(Click on any photo to view a large image.)

This year I was blessed with an unexpectedly large crop of cherry tomatoes and a much smaller, yet no less respectable, crop of peppers. My basil exploded and literally took over the garden. With this abundance of produce, I had to do something or lose it to neglect. I decided to try my hand a making my own tomato base for spaghetti sauce.

In order to peel my tomatoes, I cut an "X" on all my tomatoes at one end and plunged them into boiling water for about a minute or less. Then I removed them and plunged them into an ice water bath. This causes the tomato skin lift away from the tomato flesh, making them easy to peel.I transferred them from pot to pot using a spaghetti colander made to fit inside the pot. All I had to do was load the strainer, dip it into the boiling pot, then pick it up and plunge it into ice water to stop them from overcooking.

After peeling all the tomatoes, I placed them all in a food processor and processed them, seeds and all, until they were smooth, after which I placed them in a large pot to simmer. As they simmered, I added homegrown peppers and basil to the sauce, as well as oregano, black pepper, onions, garlic, some fennel, rosemary, marjoram, a little salt, and pork sausage that had been pre-cooked to remove the excess fat.  I let the whole thing simmer for almost two hours until the sausages were cooked through. Processing tomatoes in this way creates a thin, dark pink liquid, quite unlike the thick, dark red sauce found on the grocer's shelf. I used a little corn starch to thicken it up a bit.

I am proud to say that the sauce was great. Even my son and husband, my biggest food critics, commented on how tasty it was.I froze the remainder and reheated it a few days later and it was still great tasting although the sauce thinned out a bit.

Garden fresh ingredients. Seriously, we are all spoiled rotten in this household.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva