ISO Tomato Sauce Recipe
I just made this tonight! Peel and seed ~2 lbs tomatoes. To peel, cut an "X" in the bottom of each tomato and drop them in boiling water for about a minute. The skin will come right off. Then cut the core out and squeeze the seeds out. Break up the pulp into a bowl.
Cook 2 cloves garlic in 2 T. olive oil until fragrant. Add tomatoes with a good large pinch of kosher salt. Cook and smoosh tomatoes in skillet until releasing juices. Scoop the pulp out with a slotted spoon, leaving juice behind in skillet. Cook down juices with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Add pulp back in with a handful of torn basil, stir and heat, and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Here's my best recipe after testing various ones. It's adapted from Deborah Madison
Recipe: Grilled Tomato and Basil Sauce
Makes 2 quarts
* 4-5 lbs of market fresh tomatoes
* 11 Tbs olive oil
* 1 small onion, finely chopped
* 2 cups of loosely packed basil
* 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
* Salt, Pepper (and sugar if necessary)
* Balsamic vinegar to taste
1. Grill tomatoes gradually turning them so the entire skin blisters and chars slightly. Pull of any pieces that have blackened but leave everything else.
2. Roughly puree in a blender or food processor leaving some texture.
3. Heat 3 Tbs olive oil in pot and gently cook onion until it's soft and translucent.
4. Add tomatoes and cook over medium heat until thickened. About 20-30 minutes.
5. Taste and season with salt. If tomatoes are tart, add a pinch or two of sugar to correct the acidity.
6. Meanwhile in a food processor or blender, add 8 Tbs of olive oil (less is OK if you want to reduce the fat content) add half the basil until it is well blended and gradually add the rest along with the garlic until it is fairly smooth but still with some texture. Add this to the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes.
7. Stir in 1 tsp of sea salt and season to taste with freshly ground pepper and vinegar.
If you're interested, I talk about it in my journal: www.hookmountaingrowers.com/journal
This sauce is adapted from Lynn Rosetto Kasper's "Italian Country Table", and it's perhaps the simplest version you'll ever make. After buying 60 pounds of "seconds" heirloom tomatoes at a farmer's market I spent two afternoons making lots and lots of batches (the recipe doubles and triples well, if you've got a big enough pan). It freezes beautifully -- after making it in October I was enjoying the taste of summer well into February. The simplicity of preparation and spare number of ingredients makes for a sauce that bursts with the flavor of tomatoes and basil.
1/4 cup good fruity olive oil
rough-chopped small onion and 6 or so cloves of garlic
salt and fresh ground black pepper
15 or so large basil leaves, torn (not chopped)
3 1/2 to 4 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled or not
In a medium-to-large saucepan place oil, garlic and onion, basil, salt and pepper. Turn heat to med-high and heat ingredients in oil for ONLY 1 or 2 minutes. You just want the fragrance to waft up, don't brown or saute. Add the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands. (This is messy so I usually crush the tomatoes into a bowl before getting started.)
Bring to a pretty good simmer, cook about 1/2 hour uncovered, or till thick and reduced by about 1/3. Be sure to watch for sticking or scorching, stir fairly frequently.
If you're going to eat it right away, let stand for 1/4 of an hour or so first.
Kasper's recipe calls for passing the sauce through a food mill or chopping in food processor or blender, but I prefer to leave it chunky.
A great thing to do with lots of tomatoes is make slow roasted tomatoes. I've linked the recipe below from epicurious.
My favorite tomato sauce is one from Marcella Hazan, called "Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter." It's simple, decadent and very very good (paraphrased):
2 lbs fresh ripe tomatoes, skinned and seeded (can use 1 large can tomatoes instead)
5 T. butter
1 onion, peeled and halved
Put the tomatoes in a pot with the onion, butter and salt to taste, and cook uncovered at a simmer for 45 minutes. Stir ocassionally, mashing large pieces of tomato. Discard onion before serving. Taste for salt.
Makes enough sauce for 1 lb. pasta. Serve with parmesan cheese.
CH, Here is one that I stole from a terrific Italian restaurant. (Even though this has Veal in it, by the end, the meat is merely part of the thick sauce.):
2-3 lbs of Veal Shank on the bone
2 large cans of Italian tomatoes
2 quarts homemade chicken stock
1 large white onion chopped coarsely
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped fine
1/2 cup Parmesian cheese, freshly grated
Combine Veal, tomatoes, onion & stock and slowly simmer for 4-5 hours. (Add more water as needed.) Remove Veal, de-bone, finely chop and return meat to the stock. Simmer one more hour, add cheese & parsley and serve with your favorite pasta.
This sauce is also great on Pizza or on top of toasted garlic bread.