Culinary Q

Q as in "cue" as in "to prompt." A recipe is only the beginning…

Sauce from Freshly Picked Tomatoes

This was my second time making homemade tomato sauce from tomatoes from my garden this summer.  The first time, I started with 2 pounds of tomatoes and that just did not make enough sauce for my druthers.  This time, I started with over 4 pounds of assorted types of  tomatoes, including 3 plum tomatoes from the plants in the whiskey barrel in my back yard.

plum tomatoes in my back yard

plum tomatoes in my back yard

I cut a small X at the bottom of each tomato, put them in almost boiling water for a minute or so, cooled in ice water, and slipped the skins off.  I then cut the tomatoes in half, cored them, and squeezed most of the seeds and excess liquid out.  Here are the results:

Just under 2.5 pounds of crushed tomatoes from a bit over 4 pounds of whole tomatoes

Just under 2.5 pounds of squeezed tomatoes from a bit over 4 pounds of whole tomatoes

Next, I added about 2 T of extra virgin olive oil and 3 cloves of garlic, chopped, to my 10 inch saute pan, put the heat on med-high, and got things sizzling just a bit, turned down the heat and sauteed until the garlic was aromatic.  Then – the fun part:  mushing/crushing up the tomatoes with my hands before adding them to the pan.  Yes, is IS okay to play with your food!

I also added a teaspoon each of salt and sugar at this, followed by a chopped green chili pepper and a Tbsp of fresh thymes leaves  from our attic balcony garden:

peppers and thyme in the sky.  For Wakefield MA folks, that is the Galvin School parking lot in the background.

peppers and thyme in the sky. For Wakefield MA folks, that is the Galvin School parking lot in the background.

I also added a Tbsp of chopped fresh basil leaves at this time.  After simmering for 5 or 10 minutes, I used a slotted spoon to remove the pulp so the liquid could cook down and thicken.

pulp and liquid separated

pulp and liquid separated

Here is the liquid after simmering uncovered for 20 minutes:

thickened sauce makes a great base for the sauce

thickened liquid makes a great base for the sauce

At this time, I added back the pulp, and added a teaspoon of fairly finely chopped fresh mint leaves, also from my attic garden.  Here are two pictures showing how many mint leaves make a teaspoon of chopped mint.  That is chocolate mint, by the way.  My favorite!

mint leaves with tablespoon for size perspective

mint leaves with tablespoon for size perspective

a teaspoon of chopped mint

a teaspoon of chopped mint

I let the sauce simmer a bit more and, voila!  Amazing sauce – nice and thick.

Thick and chunky sauce

Thick and chunky sauce

Two cups sauce, to be exact

Two cups sauce, to be exact

This came out REALLY good!  YUM!

Here is the list of ingredients I used this time around:

  • Fresh tomatoes, assorted varieties, just under 4 1/2 pounds
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 3 good-sized cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • one green chili pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh mint leaves

Did I miss anything?  <grin>  Of course,  I will probably vary the recipe ingredients and minutes of simmering each time I make sauce.  But, this should do as a good guide.

I’d like to extend a special thanks to food blogger extraordinaire Chez Pim.  I found her post 15-Minute Tomato Sauce. Really. when searching for tips on making sauce from fresh tomatoes.  While my version takes more than 15 minutes, I got the idea of separating out the pulp and thickening the liquid by itself from her.  Based on my previous sauce making, I can say that the separation method is worthwhile, whether you are in a hurry to make the sauce or not!

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One comment on “Sauce from Freshly Picked Tomatoes

  1. yvonne
    08/26/2009

    Interesting method. I’ll tuck that one away for future use. Thanks for the yummy distraction Wendy. Makes me think of the hundreds of jars of fresh summer tomatoes & basil my mother put up. Nothing like it in the middle of winter.

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This entry was posted on 08/26/2009 by in Kitchen Talk and Tips, Sauce, Gravy, or Condiment, Vegetarian.
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