Monday, July 28, 2008

First Tomato Sauce

This weekend, I realized that I had finally accumulated enough tomatoes do something more with them than just eat them in sandwiches and incorporate them into dinner. So, I decided to start with tomato sauce this afternoon. Currently I have two favorite sauce recipes. One of them is the one I started with today. It's called Basic Tomato sauce and can be found in Simply In Season. Here is my sink full of romas.

I don't think this recipe should be called 'basic" because it's too wonderful. It's a chunky sauce that calls for lots of green bell peppers, fresh herbs, chopped (not pureed) tomatoes and, my favorite part, grated carrots! What a great way to get more veggies into kids! Here is my ready-to-go bowl of grated carrots and peppers.
We grew two kind of carrots this year- yellow and orange. Sorry, I don't know their official names. We also planted some of the five-stubby-fingered variety and the three-long-and-skinny-fingered variety. Just kidding. This is just what carrots do sometimes- at least ours, anyway.
I regret not having taken a picture of the sauce in the pot- it is such a pretty sauce with all it's colors. Here it is cooling on the counter. Thirteen quarts of it.
I must say that my favorite part about making this sauce today was that I didn't peel the tomatoes. Gasp!! Can you believe it!? Removing the skins is an easy task if you are using a strainer (a.k.a. squeezo or victoria) and making a smoother sauce. That doesn't fly if you want a chunky sauce. In order to remove the skins without a strainer you need to plunge your tomatoes in boiling water for five minutes or so (to loosen the skins), then plunge them into ice water (to stop the cooking and make them easier to handle), then peel off the skins and chop them up. Well, this morning we went over to visit some of our dear friends who have just recently moved. My friend told me that last year when she made this tomato sauce, she's pretty sure she left the skins on and it turned out fine. WELL. I gave it a whirl and NO MORE will I peel tomatoes for this sauce (thank you, Carmen!!). It saved a lot of time and we can all use a little extra fiber, right? Pin It


  1. Your blog is BEAUTIFUL and inspiring! You have inspired me to buy a book on gardening in south Texas, even if I never reach canning levels. :-) I'm so glad you started it! My email is I am looking forward to your updates.

  2. Is this the correct cookbook?

    And on the tomatoes, did you just wash them and cut them up in chunks?

  3. You got it, Michelle. If they sell a spiral bound version, I would recommend that so it can lay flat while referring to it. You'll love this cookbook:-).

  4. Okay. I've added it to my wish list. :-)

    And the tomatoe question? did you just wash them and cut them up in chunks, or throw them in whole?

  5. Michelle, I am SO sorry for completely missing the second part of your question!
    I wash them, take out the stem spot and chop them up. If you're planning on using a hand blender to make a smooth sauce, your chunks can be rather large. If you want a chunkier sauce, I would recommend chopping more uniform-like.
    Thanks for being patient with me!

  6. I already tried to post this, but it came up as a server error, so sorry if you get this twice. Thank YOU for taking the time to answer my never-ending questions!

    I can't wait to make the sauce next summer. I have a folder of just YOUR recipes!

    Oh, and my dear husband said to tell you he gives the baked oatmeal two thumbs up! :D


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