We just received our annual shipment of tomatoes from Jenna’s Dad’s garden. Every year at around this time, his garden overflows with big, fresh, juicy tomatoes and we always end up bringing home a full bag. Rather than use them gradually and have them slowly go bad, I just use them right away to make a big batch of fresh tomato sauce. It freezes well if you can’t use it all at once, but we never seem to have that problem.
Fresh Tomato Sauce (makes about 2 quarts)
12 big, ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sprigs of fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
First, peel the tomatoes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut a small X on the bottom of each tomato, then drop them on the water. Remove after no more than 30 seconds. Place them in ice water to cool them down. Peel off the skin, starting when the x was cut. When all the tomatoes are peeled, cut out the core and remove and discard the seeds.
(A tip: if you like your sauce thick, then at this point you should place the tomatoes in a strainer over a bowl to collect the juices. The more you let them drain, the thicker the sauce will be. It could even be left overnight in the refrigerator. However, I usually skip this step to save time, and also because I don’t mind a thin sauce.)
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the onion and saute for one minute. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add the tomatoes, followed by the basil. Stir well, reduce the heat to medium, partially cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until has reached the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, then serve immediately over pasta.