The garden did amazing when it came to everything except zucchini… oh well, a neighbor had an abundant zucchini patch next the the savanna (guessing that is why, enough water).
This year my Mum decided to grow large yellow tomatoes along with the cherry reds and yellows. They are about the size of a softball when grown and very fleshy. We have had more than enough for salads and sandwiches, so I decided to have a go at making tomato sauce. I tried last year in the slow cooker with mixed results, so this year I did some research (online of course) and found a recipe that sounded good and used other ingredients we had in the garden.
The original recipe can be found here: The Smitten Kitchen
8 pounds of tomatoes (larger are easier to peal)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 small onions (or one medium/large onion), diced
5 or 6 small cloves of garlic (I love garlic so adjust to taste), crushed
1 medium carrot, pealed and diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
springs of fresh oregano, basil, and marjoram
salt to taste
First you have to blanch the tomatoes to remove the skin. This is actually very easy. Have a large pot of water boiling and a large bowl with an ice bath (fill with ice and add a bit of water).
You cut an “X” in the bottom of the tomato (about an inch or two will do) and drop the tomato into the boiling water. The skin will begin to pull away from the flesh (it almost curls) and then you pick them out (using a slotted spoon) and pop them into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Then you just pull the skin off (if it doesn’t come off easily, put it back into the boiling water for a few more seconds and try again) and discard the skin. Slice the tomatoes up and remove the seeds and stem.
Set them aside in a sieve to let the juice drain into a bowl while you work on the remaining. Keep the juice in case you need to thin out your sauce (I did not need to use it so I froze it to use in my vegetable stock, no wasting here!).
Toss your olive oil, garlic, onions, carrots, and celery into a large pot and cook until fragrant and the onion and garlic starts to have color (but not burnt!). Add the tomatoes and the herbs (I just threw them in and took out the stalk later) and simmer for about 45 mins to an hour. I used an immersion blender in the pot to give the sauce my desired texture. Add some of the tomato juice to bring to the desired consistency.
The sauce will become very fragrant, but tasting without adding a bit of salt will have you thinking did I do wrong! You will need somewhere between 1/2 to 2 tsp of salt for 8 lbs… all based on your taste. I always slightly under salt as those in my home have very different flavor palettes.
I froze this for later use and defrosted on the stovetop in a small pan on low while my pasta was cooking. Turned out amazing and I need to make some more for the winter months!
NOTE: you can use smaller tomatoes, but it takes more time to peal them. So just be prepared!