The other day, I talked about what I did to utilize the harvest of green tomatoes my grandmother gave me from her garden. Then I had to come up with something to do with the red tomatoes she gave me too. The first thing came to mind was a tomato sauce.
In culinary school, tomato sauce was one of the mother sauces, the five sauces that other sauces are derived from. I knew the classical way to make a tomato sauce, but I have been making my own pasta sauce for about six years now. So I combined the two techniques and created a bold sauce that I can use for pasta or meat sauce.
15 – 18 garden red tomatoes
1 Vidalia onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
4 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup of water
2 tbsp olive oil
Cut tops off of the tomatoes and quarter. Cook the tomatoes and water in a nice sized pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook on a medium heat until tomatoes become soft. Remove the tomatoes from the heat and transfer slowly into a blender. Blend tomatoes and strain in sieve or kitchen strainer.
Saute’ onions and garlic in olive oil until soft and return sauce to the pot and turn on a low heat. Consistently stir and season with italian seasonings and 2 tbsp of sugar. Continue to stir until sauce begins to reduce. Add remaining sugar and continue to stir. Stir until sauce reduces and tastes as you prefer.
You can use this sauce for pasta, or add cooked ground meat to create a hearty meat sauce. The sauce takes about an hour or a little more, depending on how rich you want your sauce and how many tomatoes you use. It’s easy to adjust the seasonings to your taste, but you have to taste the sauce periodically to gauge that. Also, if the sauce is too acidic to you still after an hour, add another pinch of sugar to balance the acid of the tomatoes. Cooking the sauce slow and low, while stirring periodically, will help with reducing the sauce.
I was able to fill up a quarter of two gallon freezer bags to store until later. So, in essence that is a half-gallon of sauce. I am so excited that I’m getting good use out of these garden veggies from my grandmother!