Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Homemade Tomato Sauce

It's unlikely you'll ever make homemade tomato sauce, unless you get quite a few overly ripe tomatoes that need processing fast.  I've lucked into a bunch of vegetables, so in order to preserve them, I'm doing a lot of freezing.  I have a bunch of tomatoes that I had to do something with quickly, so I decided to make tomato sauce.

The first time I made homemade tomato sauce, I thought the recommendation to simply use a peeler on the skins was a good idea.  Wrong.

Tomato skins don't peel easily.  That's why if you're making tomato sauce, you should blanch the tomatoes first.  My mom blanched vegetables before freezing them, but I never understood the mechanism or why it was done.  With tomatoes, it's used to remove the skins.  So, I set a huge pot of salted water to boil and put the tomatoes in until I saw the skins crack (about a minute).  I removed them with a slotted spoon and in some cases dunked them in cold water and then peeled them.  I found quickly that the Roma tomatoes peeled much easier than the beefsteaks (something to think about!).  I put them in a pot with chopped garlic (about 5 large cloves), extra virgin olive oil, and a handful of fresh basil in a pot to simmer for 2-3 hours.  I used a potato smasher to crush the tomatoes and let them cook down.  Now, the recipe I read said to core the tomatoes and remove the seeds.  Hmm, yes, I could have, but didn't remove the seeds.  If I wanted to, I could have put them in a food processor and blended until smooth.

Obviously, I like having chunky sauce, so I opted to keep it that way.  I ladled the sauce after it cooled into containers and put them in the freezer.  This sauce makes an awesome pizza sauce and can be used in just about anything that needs tomatoes or tomato sauce in it.

After peeling the skins, I put them in the bird bag and fed them to my chickens along with the other leftovers.

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