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.
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:
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:
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.
Here is the liquid after simmering uncovered for 20 minutes:
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!
I let the sauce simmer a bit more and, voila! Amazing sauce – nice and thick.
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!