I harvested two baskets full of heirloom paste tomatoes today and you know what that means . . . it’s time to make some spaghetti sauce.
Eating delicious meals made with foods I’ve grown myself is one of the great pleasures of gardening.
To start I wash the tomatoes and place them into a pot of boiling water. In just a minute, the skins split and the tomatoes can be removed to a bowl filled with ice water. Once they cool, peel off the skins and squeeze out the seeds. The rest of the tomato goes into another bowl.
Then I chop an onion or two, several cloves of garlic, parsley, oregano and lots of basil.
Carmelize the onion in a little olive oil. Add garlic and cooked it briefly.
The next step is to add the tomatoes and then the parsley, oregano and basil, all of which come from the garden. Also add a bay leaf and some wine. Then just let the sauce simmer for a couple of hours. When I have them handy, I add chopped carrots and bell peppers.
The last step is to call everyone to the table. Mangia!
This morning there were two large bowls of cherry tomatoes (9 cups total) sitting on the kitchen counter.
Now there’s a colorful and tasty cherry tomato sauce made mostly with ingredients from the garden. Some will be spread on Italian bread, with fresh basil and mozzarella for lunch.
And the rest will go into the freezer and used in soups and sauces this winter.
Here’s how I made it.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Clean the tomatoes. To remove the seeds, squeeze each tomato until the skin bursts and the seeds fly into the sink or a bowl. It’s a little messy.
Place tomatoes into 1/3 cup of olive oil with one tablespoon garlic paste mixed in, salt and pepper.
Coat the tomatoes with the olive oil mix. Place them in a roasting pan in the oven for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them. When done, the tomatoes are just starting to brown.
This is what is looks like when ready.
Let it cool and place some of the mix in containers for the freezer.
I kept a half cup of the roasted tomatoes to use immediately and picked some basil and parsley leaves from the garden. These I chopped fine.
Then I loaded a slice of Italian bread with the mix, added the herbs and a slice of mozzarella and toasted it under the broiler. Yum.
I could also see this sauce tossed on pasta with Reggiano parmesan cheese and a few parsley or basil leaves to garnish. Yum. Yum.
How easy is that?