Perfectly Light Tomato Sauce

The garden has had its share of challenges this year.  We’ve gotten too much rain and thus my squash plants are struggling.  I had some green worm issues with the brussel sprouts and collards.  But my tomatoes are kicking ass!  We’ve had a constant flow of tomatoes over the last month.  It’s so nice not to have to get these from the store and they taste so much better!  The only challenge it to keep using them so they aren’t going to waste.  I’ve made a zillion salad variations.  I’ve eaten them with salt and pepper.  I’ve chopped and diced them and added them to so many recipes.   We been eating salsa out the wazoo (Matt is magical when it comes to making salsa).  I was even able to get a nice batch of Tomato Jelly a few weeks ago.  But when we went home for 4th of July and returned with a huge bag of tomatoes from his folk’s garden, I knew I had to come up with something else.

So Monday night I cooked a fresh tomato sauce to freeze.  It turned out super yummy!  I’m currently enjoying some over black rice and field peas for lunch.

My sauce is very light, because I don’t like to use tomato paste.  That creates something too similar to a marinara like you’d get in the grocery store which just isn’t my personal favorite.  This turns out much thinner with a color and flavor most similar to a vodka sauce (without the dairy).

As tends to happen when I cook, I made it up as I went along.  I played it by taste preference and therefore don’t have the exact measurements (no measuring cups or spoons were used).  Below is an estimate of what I did that can be used as a guide to make your own creation.

You’ll need:

Tomatoes- I used approx. 12 pounds of several varieties- heirloom, small roma, and Cherokee purple.

Minced garlic-  4 tbsp (less if you’re not a garlic freak like me!)

Fresh oregano- 3-4 tbsp leaves

Fresh basil- 3-4 tbsp leaves

Bell Peppers- 3

Onions- 2 (I used Vidalia.)

Olive Oil (optional)- 4 tbsp (I like the consistency and flavor this brings.  But if you’re cutting calories, this can be skipped.)

Red pepper flakes- 1 dash

Salt & Pepper to taste

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Step 1: Get rid of those pesky skins!

Score the bottoms of the tomatoes.  Scald for 1 minute in boiling water.  Remove and place in ice water.  Peel away tomato skins.

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Step 2:  Prep everything

Roughly chop skinned tomatoes and add to a large pot.

Dice onions and peppers.

Mince garlic

Separate your herb leaves and muddle (I used a mortar and pestle)

Step 3:  Cook!

Combine your tomatoes, herbs, 3 tbsp olive oil and 2/3 of the garlic in a large pot. Bring to a low boil and then simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add a dash of red pepper flakes.

Saute the peppers, onion, and remaining garlic in a large non-stick pan with a splash of olive oil over medium high heat until lightly caramelized.

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Step 4:  Blend!

Empty your tomato mixture into a blender or food processor and mix just until it is smooth (no tomato chunks).  Add your pepper and onion mixture and pulse quickly 2-3 times.  Some chunks of onion and pepper should remain.

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I had to do mine in two batches due to blender size limitations.

Step 5: Store!

Let your sauce cool and then bag in zip lock bags sized to accommodate your cooking needs.

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Hope you enjoy this sauce!  Let me know what you think!

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Krooked Treez – Ocean View (LA Version)

Eating:  This sauce over rice and field peas with a boca burger.

Drinking:  H2O

Random fact:  Matt makes a most excellent cooking buddy!  He was very involved in the cooking project above.

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