Simon has sent me a message asking what to do with excess tomatoes … Easy Tomato Sauce recipe is called for I think.
Growing your own can be a frustrating experience, you seem to wait forever for them to ripen and then suddenly you have so many you don’t know what to do with them.
This is where the freezer comes into it’s own, not to store shop bought frozen ready meals but to prepare your own food from home grown fruit and veg and store it for the winter months.
I’m a big fan of pasta with tomato sauce, it’s so quick and easy to make, it’s filling and always looks so tempting on the plate.
Here’s a quick and easy recipe to use up those tomatoes. It takes about 15 minutes preperation time and about 20 minutes cooking time.
I can’t give you exact weights and measures as I don’t use them for tomato sauce, so just go by taste and add some water slowly if you need to thin the consistency. The weights and measures given are just a rough guide.
Let’s start …
Ingredients for basic tomato sauce:
1 pound tomatoes
4-5 garlic cloves
1 medium sized onion (I prefer red onions for tomato sauce)
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp sugar
Peel the tomatoes (instructions below). Depending on the consistency of sauce you like,either roughly or finely chop the tomatoes or you can liquidise them with about an inch of water in the bottom of the blender.
Finely chop the onion. Peel and crush or mince fresh garlic cloves. If, like me, you are a garlic addict I would use about 8-10 cloves of garlic per pound of tomatoes but if you actually want to speak to people for the next few days without them fainting 4-5 cloves would be about right.
Heat some olive oil and gently saute the garlic and onions. Beware .. if garlic gets burnt it tastes awful, so lower the heat before you cook garlic and lots of stirring.
Add the tomatoes and sugar, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Keep checking to make sure it isn’t going dry, if it looks a little dry add a few spoons of water. The sauce will go a nice bright red colour when cooked.
Add salt and pepper to taste and spoon onto your favourite pasta or cool and put into freezer bags or containers.
If you like a herby taste to your sauce add finely chopped basil or oregano.
You can also add chopped peppers, parmesan or mascarpone cheese or even chilli’s. Mushrooms, fish and olives can all be added … may I suggest not all at once though.
This sauce recipe is the basis for dishes like meatballs in tomato sauce, chilli and bolognaise.
With a sharp knife prick the skin of the tomato and drop it into boiling water. When you see the skin curling away from the cut carefully remove the tomato from the water and leave to cool slightly. While still warm the skin should peel away very easily.
On a dark winters night when you can’t be bothered to cook a big meal simply grab a bag of sauce out of the freezer, boil some pasta and in 15 minutes you have a filling tasty meal.
Hope you like it Simon.