Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer of tomatoes: Homemade Marinara Sauce

I haven't written many posts about my garden this year. Honestly, I haven't been spending as much time out there since Olivia was born. Fortunately, the work I put in early in the season has paid off and the garden has been producing nice results. I find it interesting to see how the difference in weather impacts how plants thrive from year to year. Last summer was much cooler and wet, which was great for growing snap peas and lettuce, but caused tomato blight. This summer has been long and hot- great for tomatoes and peppers, not so much for peas and lettuce. It might be the simple, little world I live in right now, but I find this fascinating. Anyhow, this has been the summer of tomatoes. I planted cherry, grape, and roma plum tomatoes up a trellis against our fence. These plants are unbelievable- nearly 7 feet tall! I also planted some larger varieties in the garden plot which have also produced a nice yield. Needless to say, I have more tomatoes than I can eat. So, I make sauce. It is very easy to do and makes me feel good not to waste tomatoes. I have been making this weekly and freezing the sauce we don't use. Once you make the basic marinara sauce, it can be easily adapted to make tomato cream sauce, puttanesca, or vodka sauce. Here is my very basic method and recipe. Feel free to play around with it, adding whichever ingredients you like!

Marinara Sauce:

2lbs fresh tomatoes
1 sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs olive oil
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
kosher salt
black pepper

Add tomatoes to a boiling pot of water. Boil for about 30 seconds, remove with slotted spoon, and then place the tomatoes into a bowl of cold water. The skins will now peel off easily. After you remove the skins, quarter the tomatoes and remove the seeds. Give the tomatoes a rough chop, place to the side.

In a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, saute onion in olive oil over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, add garlic. Saute for 2 more minutes and then add tomatoes. Remove the thyme leaves from the sprigs and add to the pot, along with the chopped basil. Season with salt & pepper, according to your taste. Simmer on medium low for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the sauce to reduce to your liking.

Once the sauce has cooled, puree in a blender.

Yields about 2 cups of marinara sauce


Eileen said...

you're such a great gardener, jenny!! we have some beautiful tomato plants that got started a bit late but i had high hopes--we'll be lucky to have a couple dozen tomatoes total--that's including cherries. the ones we get are wonderful but no new ones coming. don't know why. of course, we lucked out to have a friend who's a master gardener and she sent home a bag full of peppers, tomatoes and cukes!!

Emily said...

Beautiful tomato picture! This sounds delicious... I just need my tomato plant to start producing. I think it's close!

Michele said...

ahhh... love that bright, cheery, scrumptious looking picture. Always love your posts. Keep 'em coming. We finally were able to pick our bigger tomatoes yesterday. The cherry ones have been good for about a month now. Love this gardening thing.