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Fresh Tomato Sauce

It's Mid-September, and we are still having extremely hot and humid weather.  But, relief is in sight, and there's only one thing to do - store up on the last vestiges of summer. Tomatoes are on sale right now and making fresh tomato sauce to freeze will give us that fresh taste through the rest of the year.

I'm making 10 pounds of tomatoes at a time.  I know - That sounds like a lot, but it isn't - 10 pounds of tomatoes ends up being about 8.5 pounds of sauce - 2 gallon bags worth.  I could make more at a time, but the more I make in one batch - the longer it takes to cook - the less fresh the end product will taste.  Also - 10 pounds is all my ceramic cast iron pot will hold... I'll probably make 2-3 more batches to freeze into different size containers in the next few days.


The Recipe - 

10 Pounds - Roma Tomatoes

1/4 Cup - Olive Oil

3/4 Cup White Onion - Minced

4 - 5 Cloves - Garlic - Pressed, Rasped or Minced

1/2 Cup - Flat Leaf Parsley - Chopped

1/2 Cup - Dry White Wine

Kosher Salt (1-2 Tsp. - Depending on Your Taste)

Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

I spritz the tomatoes with vegetable spray and let them sit for a moment (If you don't have vegetable spray - use white vinegar).  I rinse them off and then put them onto a towel.  I cut the stem end out of the tomatoes one at a time and load them into the sieve that I'll use to juice and chop the tomatoes later.  I do this 5 pounds at a time - that's how much will fit in the sieve.

Washed Roma Tomatoes

I place them - carefully (boiling water) - into the pot a few at a time until the sieve is empty.  I let them simmer for 30 - 40 seconds - Until the skin just starts to peel from the flesh.

Simmering Tomatoes

Tomatoes Simmering in Water

Simmered Tomatoes

Tomatoes Ready to be Processed

Now that the tomatoes are all ready to be processed, I wash the pot in which I simmered the tomatoes so I can use it to make the sauce.  I also wash the sieve.  Even though I washed the tomatoes, I like to start with a clean slate. 

Time to Cook -

Add the oil, onion, parsley, and garlic into the pot and simmer on medium heat for a minute or so - then add the wine prior to working with the tomatoes.  Don't let the mixture brown.

Onion and Parsley

The same as with the American Pasta Sauce that I posted on August 18th, squeeze the seeds out of the tomatoes because they are the bitter tasting.  The peels are easy to take off after simmering them - they slide right off.  Cut the tomatoes in half along the equator and then squeeze them into the sieve that has a bowl underneath to catch the juices.

Sieve and Bowl

The Sieve/Bowl Set Up

Squeeze Seed from Tomatoes

Squeeze Seeds With Tomato Jelly Into Sieve

Then move the peeled and squeezed tomato onto a cutting board.  Positioning the board right next to the sieve with the pot next to it on the other side, will cut down on a mess. Chop the tomatoes unevenly.  The smaller pieces will melt into sauce, and the larger pieces will remain chunks.

Chop Tomatoes

Chop Tomatoes on Cutting Board

After the tomatoes are chopped, put them in with the cooking onion mixture.  Just keep adding as you go.  Chopping 5 - 6 tomatoes at a time makes the process quicker.

Add Tomatoes into Sauce

After you finish processing the tomatoes, squeeze the skins in the sieve to release all the juice you can.  Also - move your fingers over the tomato jelly in the bottom of the sieve - this juice has a lot of tomato flavor.  Get as much as you can into the bowl below the sieve before discarding seeds and peels.  Add the juice into the pot. After the mixture starts to simmer, lower the temperature to medium low and add a few pinches of salt and a few grinds of fresh cracked pepper. Simmer for 45 minutes.

Note - This is a "Spring Board" Recipe - Under-Salting is Preferable.  You just want the sauce to taste fresh and clean.

Simmering Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce Simmering

Allow the sauce to cool for a while and then put into plastic containers.  Allow to cool for 30-45 minutes before refrigerating over night.  The sauce freezes better if it is completely cooled prior to freezing.  

Tomato Sauce Cooling to Room Temperature

Place into freezer containers or plastic bags and mark the containers with contents and date.

Label for Freezing

Okay - Now you have all this sauce in the freezer - what do you do with it?

Dinner

Enjoy -