Every year around this time we find ourselves with an overabundance of tomatoes. We grow our own AND we belong to a CSA where we get pounds of tomatoes each week. We eat them in every way imaginable but this year we decided to take the plunge and make something with them we’ve been thinking about making for years….tomato sauce. And you know what? It wasn’t as hard as we thought! Sure, it was hours of work for not much yield (in quantity) but the sauce was quite yummy and seemingly extra sweet due to the fresh tomatoes. We made our sauce with about a dozen saladette tomatoes (plum tomatoes), 4 or 5 regular tomatoes, and a handful of cherry tomatoes because I had some leftover from last week. We went through the process of prepping the tomatoes (see below) and then used our trusty marinara recipe that we always use for our sauce.
Start by coring the tomato and then cutting and X on the bottom (so it doesn’t burst in the next step).
Drop a few of your tomatoes into boiling water and let boil for 60 to 90 seconds.
Take the tomatoes out and put right into a bowl of ice water. Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them. The skins will come right off. We then blended about 3/4 of the tomatoes and chopped the rest so there would be some tecture and chunkiness to our sauce. Then we used these tomatoes as we do the canned tomatoes from this recipe.
To answer the questions I know you’ll ask:
Did I notice a difference between using canned tomatoes vs. fresh? Definitely. The sauce was sweeter for one thing and a lot more liquid-y so we left it to cook down longer on the stove. You could also taste a freshness to the sauce, if that makes sense.
Was it all worth the extra effort? Ummm, maybe not. We really appreciate the invention of canning after this experience, ha! The sauce was great but it was a lot of work to prep the tomatoes and after using a small amount of sauce to make a healthy eggplant parm we were left with enough for just one other use.
Do you have tons of tomatoes this time of year? Let me know if you make your own tomato sauce from scratch!