Over the years I have processed my tomatoes using different methods. Freezing them as sauces, freezing them as chunks and cooking down and canning them as well. I can’t say that I loved anything that I have done before or that I have a true plan of what to do with all of them.. This year I have so far made salsa, spaghetti sauce and yesterday I made pizza sauce. All were successes.
Yesterday I was also canning the last of the pickles, I have a ridiculous 50 pint size jars of pickles and since the water was already boiling I processed the salsa we didn’t eat so we could have it for later. I think I have found out how to deal with all the tomatoes last Wednesday night after work I made homemade spaghetti sauce and Italian meatballs for dinner. They were delicious and I used up all of the ripe tomatoes I had on hand. Yesterday I made pizza sauce with the next batch of ripe tomatoes.
I like this recipe for fresh garden tomato sauce because it came together fast enough for a weeknight dinner. My husband was pretty surprised I pulled it off in only a few hours; most of it hands off. He thought you had to cook them down pretty much all day to have it taste good. Proved him wrong.
Quick fresh garden tomato sauce
- 5-8 pounds tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- handful chopped basil
- 2 bay leaf
- If you are using a food mill don't worry about getting all the seeds and skins off.
- If you are not using a food mill you will want to cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and squeeze the seeds into a garbage bowl. And you could grate each side of the tomato on a box grate and throw the skins into the garbage bowl.
- If you are using a food mill then just chunk up each tomato, I cut around any of the ugliness and the stems.
- Add either the chunked tomatoes or the tomato pulp into a low but wide saucepan over high heat. Add the salt, olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, basil and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a brisk simmer.
- Reduce the sauce to almost half, stirring occasionally. Until the sauce is medium-thick or to your liking. Season with salt to your taste.
- If you are making meatballs like I did, add them to your sauce, it will help season the sauce.