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Our green thumbs tell us it’s a great year for tomatoes. Where we were struggling to grow a handful last year, we have bowls overflowing onto our countertop this year. We showed you marinated tomatoes already, so I decided to dive off the deep end and show you how to slow cook fresh tomatoes down to a full, sweet sauce.

I started by gathering 40 Roma tomatoes from our garden and chopped them up for inspiration…but no great ideas came. So I chopped garlic and threw it in olive oil for more inspiration. I started feeling the heat of a self-inflicted Iron Chef competition: Battle Tomato! I scrambled for some base vegetables and decided a red sauce was the way to go. After all, who doesn’t want to feed their pregnant wife hearty spaghetti on a 90 degree day? As I finished the sauce I realized I needed a fresh element as a final touch. Battle Tomato called for…YEP! More tomatoes.

This is ten minutes of prep and two hours of walking by the stove and giving a lazy stir, making sure it did not burn to the bottom. It tastes even better the next day and is great stored in the freezer for a few months. We love this over quinoa pasta.

Summer Tomato Sauce

Makes about 2 quarts.

8 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
4 red peppers, chopped
1 hot red chili, chopped
40 Roma tomatoes, chopped (about 5-6 pounds)
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons balsamic
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

For garnish:
fresh herbs, roughly chopped (thyme, oregano or parsely)
fresh tomatoes, chopped

In a large pan, sweat the vegetables until soft in a generous amount of olive oil. Add tomatoes and white wine…and now begins the waiting game. Simmer over medium/low stirring occasionally until the water has reduced to small pools on the tomatoes, about two hours. Add some fresh herbs right before you take it off the heat. Run through a food mill or pulse in a food processor if you don’t have access to one. The benefit of a food mill is that it will strain the tomato skins for you! Finish the sauce with the salt, cheese, and balsamic. Garnish with a few fresh tomatoes. Enjoy summer a new way!