Summer Harvest & Preservation Chronicles: Tomatoes

Remember those tasty Pompeii tomatoes that I’ve featured in a couple of recipes? Well, now they are starting to ripen in bulk, so instead of just a pizza to use a tomato or two, it is time to start stocking up for the winter! Here are some of these nice sauce tomatoes, just picked from the garden:

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Not only do they look great, but they also smell delicious already!

These tomatoes are going to be used to make some sauce that will be frozen in small containers. It’s great on its own for pasta or in dishes like chicken parmesan. It speeds up recipes a lot, like canned sauce from the grocery store would, but it’s really a big step up!

First you need to prepare the tomatoes for cooking. Start out by peeling them; you have several options for this. If you have lots of tomatoes, you might want to use hot+cold water to loosen the skins (more on that in a later post). There weren’t a whole lot of tomatoes this time, so the tomato peeler came in handy. What a useful tool! You can also use a knife, which you will need to cut the tomatoes up. Cut them in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and then cut them up into smaller pieces that are roughly the same size. Then just throw them in a pan with a little butter, a beef bouillon cube and basil, rosemary, and sage. If you have fresh herbs, definitely use them!

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Now just leave them to cook, stirring occasionally. It’s pretty hard to mess this part up. A lot of juice will cook out of the tomatoes, so that you will have the pieces in a very thin sauce, then it will cook down further, so that the sauce is thicker and the tomato pieces are very soft and starting to break down.

To make the sauce extra healthy, add some heavy cream. You can add as much or as little as you want. It will end up being a creamy pink color, like this (unless you don’t want as much cream, but why wouldn’t you?).

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This sauce is a staple of my diet. It’s quick and easy when the garden is producing, and easy to freeze to heat up later or make from canned tomatoes. It’s good on its own over pasta or used in recipes that call for tomato sauce. I even dipped some out of the pan to eat as tomato soup with a pimento cheese sandwich!

Go get some tomatoes and try it out. With a sauce that’s this fast, easy, and delicious, you may never buy another can again!

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