I’ve been gifted so many plum tomatoes this summer that I just finished up my third batch of fresh tomato sauce. There were so many tomatoes this time I had to pull out my stockpot! I want to share this relatively simple, but a little time consuming, recipe with you. Only the one picture, though, as along with those tomatoes, I’ve got eggplants, summer squash, a dozen yellow bell peppers, and tray full of Italian frying peppers that also have to be dealt with.
Wash the tomatoes thoroughly and remove the cores and any soft spots or black marks. Chunk the tomatoes up, slide them into a large saucepot, cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and continue cooking covered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, set up a food mill over another large saucepot or bowl.
Ladle the tomatoes into the food mill and puree in batches, discarding the accumulated skins as needed.
The only additional ingredients needed are olive oil, onion, garlic and kosher salt. The basil is optional; I just like the flavor it infuses into the sauce. The sauce needs additional cooking time to reduce the excess water and intensify the tomato flavor. Boil gently until reduced by at least one-quarter.
I fill pint-size Mason jars with the sauce and pop in a couple of basil leaves into each one. Once the jars are completely cool, cover and refrigerate for immediate use or freeze for later.
Keeping this a simple sauce gives me lots of leeway to either use the sauce as it is or change it into a completely different one by browning some meat or sausage before pouring in the sauce and adding additional herbs and/or spices.
You won’t regret taking the time, promise!
- 5 pounds plum tomatoes, cored any bad spots removed and cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups minced onion
- ¼ cup minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Basil leaves
- Place the tomato chunks in a 7-quart Dutch oven or large covered saucepot, cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
- Ladle the tomatoes into a food mill placed over another large pan or bowl and puree, discarding the skins.
- Pour the oil into the emptied pot and place over medium heat. Stir in the onions, garlic and salt, cover and sweat for 10 minutes.
- Pour the pureed tomatoes back into the pot and bring to a boil, lowering the heat slightly and continue cooking at a gentle boil until the sauce has reduced by one quarter, or more if it’s still watery.
- Cool, ladle into Mason jars and put a couple of basil leaves in each jar. Cool, cover and refrigerate overnight. Freeze well.