Thursday, September 24, 2009

15-Minute Tomato Sauce

As promised, this is my second installment of what to do with too many tomatoes. I'm getting a little late in the season at this point, but I'm just now starting to get my own tomato crop of the deck! I don't remember how I happened to find this recipe; the original post is over a year old and can be found here.

Mine definately took a little longer than 15 minutes. However, this is also the first time I've made anything like this completely from scracth, so you can blame my novice sauce-making skills if you'd like :-)

I had no idea how many tomatoes were equal to 2lbs. I ended up using about 8 fairly good sized tomatoes. I was actually surprised at how little sauce this makes - if you were making it for a whole family it would at least need to be doubled (see, I said you'd use up some tomatoes)! We had enough sauce for dinner for the two of us plus a lunch-sized leftover portion for me.

I also didn't use nearly as much olive oil as chez pim. I didn't measure, but just added a little bit to the pan to saute the garlic. I didn't miss it. Overall, the sauce was amazing! I would definately recommend this to anyone who is looking for a light meal! You could easily add your meat of choice to the sauce if you like to have meat in your meal. It was my first time making homemade tomato sauce, but it definately will not be my last!

15-Minute Tomato Sauce - Modified from Chef Pim
2 lbs. fresh tomatoes
2-3 cloves of garlic
a couple tsp. of olive oil
pinch of salt
1-1/2 Tbsp. balsalmic vinegar
few turns of the pepper mill
8-10 oz. whole wheat pasta of your choice

With a sharp knife, make a cross mark at the bottom of each tomato. By the time you're done the water should be hot enough. Plunge them into a pot of hot water and let sit for just a minute or so, until you can see the skin come a little loose at the cross mark. Remove the tomatoes from the hot water and give them a quick rinse in cold water. You can leave the hot water in the pot if you want to make pasta to go with your sauce.

With a small knife, peel the skin from the tomatoes. It should come off very easily. With the tip of a knife, cut around each green crown and remove it. Discard the crown and the skin. Squeeze the tomatoes into the sink to release excess juice and push out the seeds. Put the tomato pulp in a bowl, crushing roughly with your hands to break it up into small chunks. You'll have a few seeds remaining, which is no big deal.

In a large saute pan, add a bit of olive oil and chopped garlic. Add the tomato pulp into the pan. Add a big pinch of salt. Let cook for about a minute or two, until you can see the pulp breaking down and releasing the juices. Use a slotted spoon to pick up the pulp and put it into a bowl, leaving the juice in the pan. Cook down the watery juice until thick, for another couple minutes. Add the balsalmic vinegar and check the seasoning. You can add more salt or even red pepper flakes if you want it spicy. Once the sauce is thick enough--that means if you scrape the bottom of the pan you leave a mark, you're ready.

Add the pulp you removed earlier back into the pan. Stir to mix well. Turn the heat off and check the seasoning again. You might need a bit more salt or vinegar. Drain the cooked pasta and throw the whole thing into the pan with the tomato sauce. Toss everything around a bit to mix well, taste it to see if you need a bit more salt or pepper, or a bit of vinegar even. Turn off the heat. Throw in a handful of basil leafs if desired. Enjoy!

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