Monday, October 14, 2013

Maggie's Garden Tomato Sauce

So, you grew a ton of tomatoes and now you don't know what to do with them all. Here's a delicious idea, Garden Fresh Sauce!
You're not using fresh tomatoes? Want to use canned?
Here's my sister's recipe for Marinara Sauce using canned tomatoes.

Some of you are absolutely going to hate me for this recipe because I am awful at knowing amounts. But here we go for a try...

Sink full of tomatoes
1/2 - 1 Cup Olive Oil
2-3 Lrg onions
1/8 - 1/4 Cup minced or pressed garlic
3/4 Cup fresh or frozen basil
Lots of salt and pepper
1/2 - 2 Cups Sugar

A sink full of tomatoes (Romas or other 'meaty' tomato are best for sauce)
  • Wash
  • Cut out bad parts and stems
  • Use in a food processor
  • Pour them into an ENORMOUS pot
  • Simmer and reduce until its thick and not watery. Usually reduces by 1/4-1/2
  • Stir often to not burn the bottom or it makes the whole pot taste gross.
During this simmering, get another large saute pan and cover the whole bottom with Olive Oil, like, A LOT of olive oil. (1/2-1 C)
*never let olive oil get too hot, it changes the taste and smell of it. Just keep it on medium or low.

Decide ahead of time what you want your sauce to be. If you want a hot diabolo sauce, then use hot Italian sausage and red pepper or go ahead and add some jalapenos. If you want a thick veggie sauce then add bell peppers, mushrooms, eggplant, etc. Or maybe you want a meat sauce then use ground beef.
In all sauces you MUST have: lots of ONION, BASIL, GARLIC

   In the oil add:
2-3 lrg Chopped onions 
   Let them start to turn translucent, then add:
1/4 C minced or pressed garlic
3/4 C fresh Basil, or frozen (easy way to freeze basil)
What ever vegetable you want in your sauce

If you want meat:
Cook your beef or sausage in the big pan, drain the fat and add it to the veggies and oil.

Back to your big pot of tomatoes, ADD:
ALL the oil and ingredients from other pot
S/P a LOT, open the container and pour some
1/2-2 C of sugar 

*Amt of sugar totally depends on the bitterness of your tomatoes. If you water your garden well they are sweeter. If you use a lot of fertilizer, they are more bitter. It also depends on the variety of tomato. This year I grew "Amish Paste" and they were so sweet, I needed much less sugar than I ever have.

*This requires tasting and adding more as desired. 
-If its bitter you need more sugar.
-If its too tomatoey then you need more salt. 
-If it doesn't have enough 'flavor' then you need more basil and garlic.

Simmer 15-40 min. The longer it simmers the better the flavors are absorbed into every bit of this sauce.

With this enormous pot of sauce I put it in containers and freeze it. I have 18 quarts in my deep freezer right now. So easy for later use and, Oh, so much better than Ragu. 
My 3 little kids asked to have some of the sauce, they ended up eating bowls of it like soup. It really is that good. 

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