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Friday, August 20, 2010

Fresh Tomato Sauce


Traditions can be lost as years go by and older generations are not around any more to keep them going.  In most cases the newer generations can't be bothered to recreate the great food that was made for us by our grand parents and parents.  What do they do in this situation?  They head out to a supermarket and buy some horrible recreation of a traditional classic that is full of preservatives and other chemicals. 
For those of us who appreciate tradition and great food we see this matter in a different light.  Taking a little time and putting in some effort helps us stay grounded to our roots and results in honest, healthy and super tasty food.
This year our garden produced large amounts of heirloom tomatoes.  We have been eating them for weeks and are looking for ways to preserve the extras from our harvest.  Coming from an Italian background the obvious choice is to make tomato sauce. 
I have always thought of tomato sauce as the blood of our culture.  Growing up it seemed like we ate it almost every day in pasta or stews and smothered over a large variety of ingredients.  The thing is, we never got sick of eating it.
Traditionally, the roma or san marzano tomato was used to make our beloved sauce but because we have massive amounts of heirlooms I decided to change it up.  It is not to say I broke tradition but simply used what we had grown from our land and let nothing go to waste.  This is what our ancestors would do.
Whether you have 5 pounds or 100 pounds of tomatoes you can use this recipe to make batches of sauce which can be preserved in jars or eaten fresh the same day.

Ingredients

Tomatoes ( begin with enough chopped tomatoes to fill a pot)
Fresh Basil
Salt
Sugar
**** For ready to eat sauce add chopped onion, garlic and a touch of olive oil******


Chop enough tomatoes to fill a large pot and place on stove top.  Bring chopped tomatoes to a boil then reduce to a simmer. 







Using a masher, squash the tomatoes until they release their juices and simmer for 1 hour.







Carefully transfer tomatoes to a bowl then place food mill over the pot and begin milling until all the juices are in the pot.  You will be left with only the dry skins and seeds of the tomatoes in the mill.





To make ready made sauce, add onion, garlic, salt and about 1 Tbsp of sugar and cook for at least 1 hour or until reduced by half the original amount.  The sauce is now ready to eat with your favorite dish.

 If you wish to preserve the sauce just cook tomato puree on its own until reduced then add a pinch of salt and pour hot sauce into a jar with some fresh basil.









Place lid on jar and tighten lid firmly until sealed.  Place jars in a box or container, cover with a blanket or table cloth and allow to come to room temperature.  These jars can be kept in a cool, dry place and used when ever your recipe calls for tomato sauce.

***When using a jar of the sauce place contents on stove top and cook with some chopped onion, garlic , olive oil and a pinch of sugar.  The sugar helps remove some of the acidity from the tomatoes.  This only needs to be cooked for about a 1/2 hour until warmed through and onion and garlic are fully cooked.

Keep your families traditional food recipes alive for future generations to learn and enjoy the classic dishes of old world cooking at its best.

1 comment:

Karen said...

This sounds great. I've got tons of romas on my plant - now they just need to get ripe!

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