Homemade ‘Chunky’ Tomato Sauce
Hello! I hope everyone is enjoying these last precious days of summer! I’ve been doing my best to put the blog on hold to enjoy these last, glorious days. For the most part, it has been beautiful here, so there have been lots of golf and outdoor activities with family and friends.
Last week, on one rainy, chilly day, when a golf date with my husband was rained out, I decided to use the abundance of tomatoes I had on the kitchen counter to make tomato sauce. Not to enjoy now, but to enjoy when the weather gets cold and pasta nights will be even more welcomed.
This has been a banner tomato year. I’ve read that others around the country have been enjoying a bountiful year as well. Even today, I harvested six gorgeous, big tomatoes. The other crazy thing about this summer is that we have barely had any mosquitoes all summer. Now that is impressive! All summer to enjoy the patio in the evening and not be chased indoors by mosquitoes. Priceless!
I picked one HUGE tomato called, Mr. Stripey, that weighed over a pound and was over 5 inches long! I read not-so-stellar reviews of this tomato and I’m glad I gave it a try. It performed very well in my garden.
You can see by the slight yellow tinge to my tomato sauce that I used a few of those yellow and red striped tomatoes in this sauce.
I tried a new-to-me recipe and loved it! Very loosely adapted from this recipe, I altered the cooking method, tomato preparation and ingredients slightly, but it was the list of ingredients that made me choose it in the first place. It is loaded with flavor!
The tomatoes were prepped by using the boiling water/ice bath method to remove the skins. After dicing, I drained the chopped tomatoes in a mesh colander to remove excess juice so the sauce wouldn’t be too juicy.
After it was cool, it was transferred it to zipper bags and frozen to enjoy on a cool night in Autumn. If you find yourself still picking tomatoes, or have a local farmers’ market where you can buy them, please give this recipe a try. It was so good, it was hard not to keep eating it out of the pan! It is a ‘chunky’ style sauce and there are the seeds are left in it. It neither of those things bother you, you will love it.
Homemade ‘Chunky’ Tomato Sauce
Note: This recipe represents a half recipe of the original, which was all of the tomatoes I had on hand. Double if you have lots of tomatoes.
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup canola oil
About 5-6 pounds of whole, garden tomatoes
1 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoons dried basil
1/8 cup white sugar
1 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste (optional to use when you are ready to use the sauce)
Prepare a large pot of water to boil. Have a large bowl of ice water ready next to the pot when the water is boiling. Cut a shallow ‘X’ across the non-stem end of the tomato. Drop 3-4 whole tomatoes into the boiling water. When the skin has cracked, about 1 minute or so, remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon to the ice water bath. Repeat with all of the tomatoes. Remove the skin from the tomatoes and core them. Chop the tomatoes into about 1/2 inch pieces and place in a colander to drain for about 30 minutes.
In a large stock pot over medium heat, saute the the onion, garlic, green pepper in the canola oil. Stir often and watch carefully to that it doesn’t burn. When the onion is transparent, add the chopped tomatoes, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, parsley, sugar, salt, and ground black pepper. Cook for about 2 hours on very low heat, stirring frequently.
Let sauce cool and pour sauce into quart size freezer containers.
Will keep in freezer for 3-4 months or longer if you have a deep freeze.
When ready to use sauce, you can stir in can of tomato paste, if desired, but I found it tasted great on its own.
TIP: If using freezer bags, after filling, place flat on a baking sheet in freezer until fully frozen (about 2 hours) so that may be stored flat.