Here at Sterling Organic Farm in Eastern Connecticut, late August and early September have found us overrun with an abundance of juicy, delicious tomatoes. Our tomatoes have been going to our CSA members (link to CSA information) and the ones that are flawed or blemished, we use to make this pasta sauce. There couldn't be an easier way to preserve summer's bounty of tomatoes for the winter than this tomato sauce recipe. This recipe requires no canning and no special equipment, just ordinary items found in any kitchen. You could choose to can this recipe if you wish, but we simply freeze it in quart freezer bags. This recipe is very flexible. I learned it from my Mom. We are Greek, so we like to season our tomato sauce with onions, oregano, basil, garlic and cinnamon, but you can pick whichever spices and seasonings you enjoy.
Using enough tomatoes to fill a 9 inch x 13 inch baking pan will yield about two quarts of finished sauce.
Added to the pan while baking in the oven:
Red ripe tomatoes
Choose a few from the below seasonings to add to the pan to bake in the oven:
Finely chopped fresh basil
Finely chopped fresh oregano
Finely chopped fresh thyme
Diced white onions
Diced red peppers
Added to the pot when cooking on the stove
Salt to taste
Choose a few from the below seasonings to add to the pot when cooking on the stove
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Core tomatoes by cutting a circle around the stem, going about one half inch down into the tomato. Remove and discard the cores.
Put cored tomatoes in a single layer into a baking pan, filling the baking pan. Use additional baking pans to bake more tomatoes if making a large batch of sauce.
Lightly sprinkle the tomatoes with your chosen seasonings, such as finely chopped fresh basil. Use enough seasonings to apply sparsely across the entire pan.
Drizzle olive oil over the pan of tomatoes. The olive oil prevents the seasonings from burning in the oven.
Bake the pan of tomatoes with seasonings and olive oil in the 350 degree oven for one hour, or until the skins of the tomatoes appear very wrinkly.
Allow the tomatoes to cool enough to be handled. Hold one tomato over the jar of a blender and pinch the skin to remove the skin while letting the flesh of the tomato drop into the blender. Discard the skin. Repeat with additional tomatoes until the blender is full of tomatoes.
Blend the tomatoes on high speed until a smooth purée forms.
Pour the blended tomatoes into a large pot. Repeat step seven, eight and nine until all of the tomatoes have had their skin removed, have been blended and added to the pot.
Simmer the sauce on low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is reduced to half its original volume.
Add salt, black pepper, and other desired seasonings to taste, and simmer for ten more minutes to allow flavors to blend.
Allow the sauce to cool, then ladle into freezer bags and store in the freezer, or use immediately on your favorite pasta.
The abundance of September harvests at our small scale organic farm in Eastern CT inspired us to make tomato sauce.
This is what the tomatoes look like after being baked in the oven. The skins will slip right off, then we blend them into sauce in the blender.
A nice pot of homemade tomato sauce simmering on the stove. Simmering a is a long process. You can go out and weed your garden or read your book, pausing occasionally to stir the sauce.