We are very fortunate in that our garden is producing a large amount of produce, however it has been difficult at times for us to use everything before it goes bad. For example, we have been eating cucumbers with almost every meal and we still have an extra 6 on our counter, and many more left to be picked. We have more hot peppers than I know what to do with (don’t worry, I will figure it out!), and up until today we had multiple bowls filled with tomatoes sitting around.
Plus, my herbs are going mad. Check it out:
So today my mother and I decided to make a red sauce, using our home grown tomatoes and fresh herbs. Using more than 7lbs of tomatoes, a healthy handful of basil, and a few extra ingredients we managed to make a delightful garden sauce. I mostly enjoyed how it didn’t have any of that tinny taste you can get from using canned tomatoes to make sauces, therefore giving me the freedom to relax and not worry about covering that extra, unwanted flavor.
This is just one bowl of them
We discovered that the best way to get the most juice, with the smallest amount of seeds and skins, was to first blend the tomatoes and then strain them in a mill. In case you are unaware, when I say “mill” I am referring to a strainer that has a handle for you to rotate and squish all the juice out while keeping the seed and skins inside. If you don’t have one, then just using a strainer and pressing on the pulp with a spoon will work fine.
Here is a blurry picture of ours:
We washed, cut in half, blended, milled, and sauce-ified. It was a pleasant process. And way less obnoxious than it might sound. In the end we created a very fresh tasting sauce, sort of like pasta fresca but a little more complex with the addition of wine and cheese cooked in. Of course we have many more tomatoes on the way, and I will have to find many more uses for them!
This recipe does make a lot of sauce, so feel free to cut it down or be prepared to have some leftover.
1 cup basil leaves
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup red wine
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Salt and pepper
Blend and strain tomatoes into a large saucepan.
In a food processor blend garlic, basil and olive oil. Stir into tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a simmer and add wine and cheese. Simmer at least a half hour.
Serve over pasta of choice, and enjoy!
If you want the sauce thicker, add a can of tomato paste.