Fresh Tomato Sauce – Never Ending Summer

There is nothing as wonderful as tomato sauce made from fresh summer tomatoes. It's pretty easy, too.
Fresh Tomato Sauce
Fresh Tomato Sauce

Fresh Tomato Sauce

There is nothing like tomato sauce made from fresh tomatoes in the summer. But, no worries, if you have an abundance of tomatoes the rest of the year, you can easily turn them into tomato sauce, too.

My neighbor came by with two large bags of tomatoes. It was late summer so they were nice and sweet and ruby red. There’s only so much salad a person can eat, but there’s always Ricotta Cheese Balls and Lasagna to be made, and both of those call for tomato sauce. I rolled up my sleeves, got my equipment, and started making the sauce.

What Kind of Tomatoes for Fresh Tomato Sauce

You can really use any kind of tomato you have.  If you go to the market in the summer and ask if they have any tomatoes that are super ripe those are a great choice.  The big beef steaks are so juicy and sweet in the summer if you can keep from making tomato sandwiches with them. Regular salad tomatoes can be a little drier and harder – best to let them sit on the counter to ripen a bit.  The same is true of Italian plum tomatoes if they are still hard as rocks; let them sit on the counter and ripen a bit. If when you are making the sauce and it seems too sour, bitter, or not bright enough, add a pinch of sugar.

A Tip For Making Your Life Easier

If you are lucky enough to have a trash can right under your counter, good for you.  However, a lot of us have the trash can somewhere else in the kitchen.  It’s a PITA to have to take vegetable ends, discards, bones, cheese wrappers, and eggshells all the way across the room, dripping and making a mess to put in the garbage can. I keep a small plastic bowl on my countertop to hold those things. If you want to save vegetable ends or bones for making soup, use separate bowls. Don’t even mix vegetable ends and bones in the same bowl. Instead of constantly going to the trash, I just empty the bowl at the end of prep and put it in the sink to wash.

About Skinning the Tomatoes

When I first started blanching tomatoes and didn’t know any better, I was afraid to leave them in boiling water too long because I thought they would be cooked. Not so.  Tomatoes are like people, they are all different and some are more stubborn than others. So just keep boiling them until they skin breaks then immediately put them in an ice bath. I find a good spider strainer is a good tool for the job.

How to Use the Sauce

You can use this sauce for anything that calls for tomato sauce.  It makes enough for a lasagne.  You can make a marinara sauce out of it. Put it in mason jars in a pressure canner and can it, or add sugar and citric acid for hot water canning.  You can also put it in small containers and freeze it, or put it in a vacuum bag, seal it and freeze it.  It will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.

 

Fresh Tomato Sauce

Fresh Tomato Sauce

There is nothing as wonderful as tomato sauce made from fresh summer tomatoes. It's pretty easy, too.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 8
Calories: 61kcal

Equipment

large saucepan
Large Bowl

Ingredients

  • 4 quarts water
  • 2 cups Ice
  • 5 pounds tomatoes, fresh
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, kosher
  • 1 teaspoon Tuscan Sunset
  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar, optional

Instructions

  • Gather your mise en place.
    Fresh Tomato Sauce
  • Put ice in a large bowl and put a smaller bowl in it. Also, have ready another bowl for discards. You need three bowls.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and put the tomatoes in the boiling water. As the skin breaks on each tomato, take it out with a spider strainer and put it in the bowl that is on ice. Do this for the remaining tomatoes. Some may be stubborn and not want their skin to break but be patient and this will happen to all.
  • When they are cool enough to handle, remove the stem part with a strawberry huller. Remove the skin and break the tomatoes up with your fingers. Try to put the seeds and hard core in the discard bowl and the rest of the tomato in the large bowl. You won't be able to keep all the seeds out, but that's okay, too. When you have finished all the tomatoes, put your hands in the bowl and break them up more with your fingers. Yes, you could use a stick blender or food processor for this, but, hey, it feels good!
    Fresh Tomato Sauce
  • Put the large saucepan on the stove and heat it. When it is hot, add the olive oil and let it get to the point where it almost smoking. Add the onions and saute them until they are translucent then add the garlic and cook it until it is also translucent but do not let it burn!
  • Add the remaining ingredients and taste for seasoning. If the tomatoes were not very ripe, they may need a little sugar. Add the sugar a little at a time and keep tasting until you like it.
  • Cook the sauce down on low heat until it reduces by about half, about 20 - 30 minutes.
    Fresh Tomato Sauce

Notes

You can add citric acid and sugar if you want to can using the hot water method. You do not have to add citric acid if you are going to pressure preserve.
The anchovies add umami to the sauce.  They do not taste like fish. If you want the sauce to be completely vegan or vegetarian substitute Umeboshi paste instead.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Fresh Tomato Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 61 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 220mg10%
Potassium 265mg8%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Got Questions? Let me know!Mention @arbpen or tag #arbpen!

 

 

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Fresh Tomato Sauce - Never Ending Summer

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About arbpen

As an award-winning and serious home cook, I seriously believe there is no reason why you can't have a restaurant quality meal at home. One of the good things about eating at home is to save money, so armed with a good menu plan, a shopping list, and an appreciation of good food, we can all have gourmet food on a budget.

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