Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Marinara Sauce

 306.  This summer my tomatoes grew exceptionally well.  So well that the neighborhood squirrels had a steady diet of my little red beauties!
 When I make my homemade fresh tomato sauce I use my blender.  I remember my mom processing tomatoes for hours.  Boiling the water.  Dropping the tomatoes in the water then plunging them into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.  Then laboriously peeling each tomatoes and then squeezing every last bit of liquid and seeds from the centers.  There was just as much waste from the tomatoes as there were tomatoes to cook.
 My logic has been…the seeds and skin carry just as much nutrition as the pulp of the tomato.  So, I just wash each tomato, whole and cherry, and cut them in chunks, then fill up my blender.
 The blender does a wonderful job of mincing every bit of skin and seed that you would not know the difference.  And the texture is very smooth and consistent.
 Once it has processed till all the little bits disappear, it will seem foamy and the color turns pink.
 I prepare a large 6-8quart pot by sautéing in olive oil 1 large onion chopped and 4 cloves of garlic minced.  Once you pour the liquid tomato puree into the pot, bring it to a rolling boil and continue with the remaining tomatoes.
 The color red returns quickly with the heat.  I then chop fresh parsley, oregano and basil.  One to two cans of tomato paste.  Add teaspoon of sugar, salt and pepper and sometimes a pinch of red pepper flakes.
 Bring all to a boil, then turn down to simmer for about 60 minutes stirring every so often.  Taste to adjust the seasoning and if you would like to add more of the ingredients have fun!  I have even added chopped up veggies from my garden such as squash, green bean, peppers or eggplant.  Once it has cooked and the seasoning is perfect you can serve it with pasta or pour the hot sauce into sterilized jars and place sterilized lids on top.  Within minutes you will hear the seals pop and your sauce is ready to store away in a cool place until you need it.  For canning I use both canning jars and mayonnaise jars, which are a perfect size and the special canning lids fit just right!
"The federal government has sponsored research that has produced a tomato that is perfect in every respect, except that you can't eat it.  We should make every effort to make sure this disease, often referred to as 'progress', doesn't spread."
~Andy Rooney

"I don't care what anybody says:  Nothing is better than a tomato you grow.  There's something about it that's different than a tomato you can buy.  It's a great thing."
~T. Vilsack

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