Thursday, October 16, 2008


Our house has been completely inundated by tomatoes this season. We have about five cherry tomato plants in our side yard that just don't know when to stop! I've even had enough to make tomato sauce from scratch... twice! That's a lot! I was too busy eating to take pictures of the finished product, but it was so good I wanted to share the recipe, adapted from the indelible Marcella Hazan (The Classic Italian Cookbook):

2 lbs fresh ripe tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup olive oil
medium-sized sweet onion, finely minced
~1/4 tsp granulated sugar

~2 tsp salt
1 small can tomato paste (totally cheating)
A few sprigs of fresh oregano, stems discarded.

wash tomatoes, then cut in half. Simmer in a covered saucepan for 10-15 minutes until flesh softens.
2. Purée tomatoes in food mill or food processor. If using the processor, push the purée through a fine-mesh strainer to remove seeds and skin.
3. Add the olive oil to a clean saucepan, add the onion and sauté until just translucent. Add the tomato purée, paste, sugar, salt, and oregano. Cook uncovered at a steady simmer for 40 minutes or until desired consistency. Check seasoning and adjust as needed. Add some fresh leaves of oregano right at the end for color.

Since I used cherry tomatoes as the base (Roma is more traditional), I added less sugar. Also, cherry tomatoes have a higher ratio of gooshy seed:usable flesh, so I added the tomato paste to thicken things up. This was not in Maricella's original recipe. Also, she calls for the classic Mirpoix (holy trinity) of onion, carrot, and celery. I personally don't enjoy veggie chunks in my pasta sauce, so I only used the onion. I also like oregano in my tomato sauce, so in that went.

Like I said, the sauce was polished off before photographic evidence could be collected, so here's a picture of the tail-end of the harvest. I had to use three times this quantity for the sauce. Also, the zucchini and raspberry plants found the energy to give us a small sample.

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