There is nothing better (in my opinion) than a fresh, juicy, bright red garden tomato. It never ceases to amaze me the difference between store-bought and fresh tomatoes. I grow my own in the summer and purchase them from local farmer’s markets. I can’t seem to get enough until about August when I have so many that they are coming out of my ears! Every year I struggle with how to preserve them so that I can enjoy them when they’re not available. Last year I made a lot of tomato soup, this year I would like to make tomato sauce and preserve them whole. I don’t know how to preserve them whole yet, but I did teach myself how to make sauce from a fresh tomato. Typically, I make homemade tomato sauce from canned Carmelina tomatoes because it is SO much better than jarred sauce. I will share with you how to turn fresh garden tomatoes into sauce and share with you my favorite tomato sauce. Enjoy!
Step 1: Wash the tomatoes and boil a pot of water.
Step 2: When the water comes to a boil, place the tomatoes in the water for 1 minute.
Step 3: After 1 minute place the tomatoes immediately in an ice bath.
Step 4: After the tomatoes sit in the ice bath for a bit you will see the skins pulling away. Remove the tomatoes and peel the skins from the tomatoes and discard.
Step 5: When all of the tomatoes are peeled cut the tomatoes in half to remove the seeds and extra juice.
Step 6: Place the tomatoes in a colander and let sit to drain any excess liquid. Your tomatoes are now ready to use!
Best Ever Tomato Sauce
This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Date Night Cookbook: Romantic recipes for the busy couple, by Meredith Phillips. (It makes a great wedding present too.) This sauce recipe is actually listed under “Spinach and Mushroom Lasagne” as the sauce to use for the lasagne but it’s one of my favorite and it’s versatile enough to use for anything.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes, with juice (or your prepared garden-fresh tomatoes)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a large sauce pan set over medium heat, add the oil. Saute the onion for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 to 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 35 minutes.