Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes! When I bought the 10 pounds of seconds tomatoes last weekend, I was worried that my ultimate goal of transforming them into a succulent sauce was, well, a bit lofty. But, fortunately, the plan worked like a charm and I was able to use my small batch process on a much larger scale.
There are many, many ways to make tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes. Some like to blanch the tomatoes for easy skin removal. Others remove the seeds as well. Some people do neither. I particularly like the flavor the tomatoes take on when roasted and the ease of cooking too. Plus, the skins practically jump right off.
I highly recommend lightly salting this. It will impart a more tomato-y flavor that can be adapted into other sauces (I am already dreaming of a spicy veggie filled sauce and Shawn has used one portion for a delectable meat sauce too).
Oh, and don’t be fooled by the two-day process. It isn’t as time consuming as it sounds. Really. I mean it.
Roasted Tomato Sauce
yields 16-18 cups of sauce
about 10 lbs tomatoes (can be seconds)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 extra large sweet onion, diced
1 bulb garlic, cloves removed and crushed
1 cup dried Italian seasonings
4 cans tomato paste, mixed with equivalent amount of water
salt, to taste
1 tbsp sugar
Day One: Roast the tomatoes.
Wash tomatoes and place them side by side in a baking pan (deep is better, though a foil lined jelly roll pan can work too).
Broil on high for 15 minutes on each side.
Spoon juices into a bowl or pan and set aside. Remove tomatoes and let cool (covered) for a few hours. Once tomatoes are cool, slip them out of their skins, remove stems and blemishes, and crush half of them. The other half, remove the skims and stems only. Place all the tomatoes into a large pot or covered bowl. Strain reserved juices (plus any juices from the bowl you cooled the tomatoes in) into the bowl with the tomatoes.
Day two: Make the sauce
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. When hot, add the onions and garlic, stirring frequently. Cook until onions are translucent – 5-8 minutes.
Remove from heat and spoon mixture into a food processor. Process into a paste.
In a large stock pot, combine the roasted tomatoes, the onion mixture and the Italian seasonings. Stir well.
Whisk together tomato paste and water. Add to the stockpot.
Set stove on medium-low and bring the sauce to a rolling boil (be sure it’s either covered with the lid ajar or that you are using a splatter guard. What a mess!). Stir frequently while boiling for 30 minutes.
Add salt (not too much though, you can always re-salt in small batches later) and sugar. Stir well.
Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 3-4 hours. Remove from heat.
Let cool to lukewarm before storing. Freeze in tightly covered containers.
Psst! September is an Eat Local Challenge month! How better than to prepare for a winter of eating local by making fresh tomato sauce with local tomatoes?
About the Author (Author Profile)Sarah W. Caron is a freelance writer, editor and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in countless online and print publications including iVillage, BELLA NYC Magazine, Yum for Kids magazine and more. She lives in Connecticut with her two kids, two beagles and husband.
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