Meatless Monday: Tomato Sauce

For all that I’ve been getting hoards of farm grown tomatoes for a few summers now, you would think that I would have actually made spaghetti sauce from them.

Not so much.

So when I picked up 25 tomatoes last Thursday, and realized I still had eight from the week before, I knew I had to take drastic measures with my bounty. (I off-loaded about a dozen tomatoes to my SIL, with whom I split my CSA box.)

Upon surfing my trusty recipe sites, I realized that I was going to need to skin and seed my tomatoes. This was going to be a new experience for me, but I had two trusty guides: Mindy at MindyBakes (which could more accurately be called Mindy Does It All In The Kitchen) and Deb at Smitten Kitchen. I also studied their sauce recipes, and these are pretty much the basis for what I made this weekend (and am eating with the kids tonight).

So check out their sites to see how the pros do it. I’m just going to list my tweaks. There are about 1,000 sauce recipes out there, and you probably have your own as well. And for that matter, what I did this weekend will probably change next time I want to make sauce.

I started with 4 pounds of tomatoes, and skinned and seeded them. Blanching them, then throwing them into ice water makes this a breeze. I used 5 cloves of garlic, 1 stalk of celery (chopped), and 1 carrot (grated). We don’t do onions in my house, which I realize is probably blasphemy in some circles. But we just don’t like the way cooked onions taste. If I had had dried oregano, I would have used some of that; as it is I used fresh basil (added at the end) and red pepper flakes.

I froze half the sauce, of course. When you have a bounty of summer tomatoes, you gotta freeze some of those puppies. I don’t can, so I gotta do what I’m able to make them last. Next week, I’ll be roasting whatever I get, and freezing it to make this soup (from Smitten Kitchen). I can’t wait!

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11 thoughts on “Meatless Monday: Tomato Sauce

  1. No onions?! Abomination! The best recipes in my family start with “take between 1 and 7 onions. More is better.”

    The sauce sounds yummy! I should copy you. We have a lot of tomatoes. I also have made tomato bisque with tomato bounty before and enjoyed it in a powerful, sensual way. Served with fancy grilled cheese, yum!

    • I have a really good shrimp fra diavolo recipe that I do with fresh tomatoes from the garden. Granted … it does involve the shrimp bit. And setting part of the kitchen on foot-high fire.

    • You should check out that smitten kitchen soup recipe. It’s like the vegetarian version of French onion soup, only with tomato soup and cheddar cheese. So good.

      And, I know: re: onions. Dan *hates* them though. Cooked onions and cooked green peppers. I’ve totally gotten out of the habit of using them, and now I can taste the difference, too. So I just skip it.

  2. Oh wow. Our tomato sauce recipe goes like this:

    Put oil and onion in sauce pan.
    Chop tomatoes into big chunks and throw in pan.
    Toss in a bunch of fresh garlic.
    Cover. Let get all goopy and stuff.
    Stir.
    Salt and pepper.
    Eat the crap out of it!

    I am so intimidated by this idea of seeding!!

    • I was too, but while it’s a little time consuming (and a lot messy), it is not hard at all. If you want to avoid it altogether, I understand you can purchase a food mill. I’m not sure where you would purchase such a thing, but it probably cuts down on the time consuming part. as far as garlic, I saute it almost every time in every recipe.

    • Oh, I will! He’s not crazy about oregano, but I like to taste something besides basil all the time. I’ve given in on cooked green pepper and onions; he’s gotten let me have my herbs!

  3. Jean has been growing cherry tomatoes in the backyard. I’ve not always been a fan of them but she got her hands on several different varieties. One of them produces yellow gourd-shaped tomatoes that are very tasty. I like to cut them in half and cook them over fish. yummy.

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