Cooking from my garden

Marzano Tomatoes

One of the joys of late summer is being able to create meals from the beautiful things you have grown in your garden.  Let me share a few of the things I’ve been making recently.

Tomato Sauce from homegrown Tomatoes:

Most of the year I use high quality canned tomatoes for my sauces.  But once a year, if I’m lucky enough to get a good crop of tomatoes, I like to make a recipe from scratch.  This year I grew some tomatoes called Super Marzanos I got from Territorial Seed Company.  They are not an early variety so with this poor summer I was worried I would not get a crop.  But I managed to eke out just enough to make a batch of tomato sauce.  I will definitely grow these tomatoes again.  It was the best sauce i’ve ever had from my home grown tomatoes!

Making sauce from fresh tomatoes is a little more work, but not all that complicated.  If you do not grow your own tomatoes I suggest buying some good Roma or Marzano style tomatoes at your local Farmer’s market.  Two pounds will make enough for a pound of pasta.  I suggest making a double batch so you have leftover sauce.

The leftovers of my homemade tomato sauce.

Procedure:

  1. Put on a large pot of boiling water.
  2. With a sharp knife, cut a X in the skin at the bottom of the tomatoes.
  3. Dip the tomatoes, 3 or 4 at at time, in the boiling water for about 10 seconds.  Remove with a slotted spoon.  Allow to cool briefly.
  4. Peel the skin off where it has started to separate at the X.
  5. Cut of the stem end of the tomato and then cut tomatoes in half lengthwise.  Then take your finger tips and run them along the cavities, removing most of the seeds.  Place tomatoes in a bowl.
  6. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes.
  7. Follow your favorite recipe for sauce, such as the one in my cook book of course!  The one difference is that you will want to cook this sauce longer.  I simmer it over very low heat for at least an hour and then add a little tomato paste to obtain my desired consistency (or you can just cook it down longer to thicken but you’ll get less sauce).
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