I love my garden! I really do, except I hate finding the time to weed it, water it, pick everything, repeat with a little girl who wants to play and has every right to enjoy summer. She is starting preschool in just three weeks and then I’ll have time for more cooking, blogging, cleaning ( yeah, that never ends!), but the garden is bursting now! So with plenty of tomatoes ( Celebrity and Big Boy), basil, parsley, and garlic it was time to make a delicious tomato sauce!
You need a lot of tomatoes for home-made sauce, but it is worth it! The flavor can’t be beat. I also use a lot of garlic in this, but if you’re not so much a fan ( why wouldn’t you be?!) you can just cut it back. I wouldn’t, but that’s just me
Note that you may have to adjust the amounts of everything else if your tomatoes are particularly small or large.
20 tomatoes, various sizes
1 1/3 cup chopped Vidalia onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
Remove the tops from the tomatoes with a knife, then blanch in boiling water for about 1 minute. Remove to a large bowl filled with ice water, then peel as soon as cool enough to handle. Seed the tomatoes by squeezing them, then opening them up and removing the excess seeds ( there may be a few seeds left, that’s fine!) This part is a little messy, but it’s the easiest way I’ve found to do it.
Saute the diced onions in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, stirring, then add the garlic and saute for one minute more.
The next step depends on whether you want a chunky sauce or a smooth one. This recipe is for a smooth one, but if you would prefer chunky, at this point add in all the remaining ingredients except the fresh herbs, adding them about 15 minutes before serving. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 1 hour 15 minutes. If you would prefer a smooth sauce, after sauteing the onions and garlic continue with the steps below:
Add in the tomatoes, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes pour into a blender or food processor ( I had to do this in two batches, didn’t even think to use my immersion blender).
(Ignore the crushed soda bottle in the background, that would be my husband!). Puree until smooth, then pour back into the pot and add the spices, salts, pepper, tomato paste and sugar. Cover and bring back to a simmer for another 1/2 hour.
I plan on using the sauce tomorrow with eggplant parmesan, but I imagine it would be great with thin pastas! Enjoy!