As summer winds down, so many people jump headfirst into all things fall, leaving the sunny season a warm but distant memory… I like to take this transition period to savor the last of summer’s bounty and Fresh Tomato Sauce is just the way to revel in the flavors of the heat.
This is the time of year when tomatoes hang low on their branches, filling with sweet juices until deftly twisted off the stem. They’re on sale at the grocery, abundant in gardens, and overflowing at the farmers markets. In fact, some vendors at our market have big boxes of the “cosmetically challenged” fruits, marked down to next to nothing. Jackpot!
Imperfect, bruised, and overripe tomatoes practically beg to be pureed into sweet smooth sauce. They may not make delicate sandwich slices or hold up in a hearty chopped salad, but the flavor is unmatched.
Homemade staples like tomato sauce can seem like a daunting task, but this one is a snap and great to have on hand. If you’re well versed in canning, you can totally process these to be shelf stable. I’m not that handy, so I just pop a jar in the freezer for quick pasta dinners.
I knew this effortless recipe was a success when John immediately ate all of the pasta drenched in thick red sauce. He’s “more of a cream sauce guy”, so I took it as a major win when he licked the bowl.
Make the sauce, lick the bowl, and don’t rush out of sunshine just yet.
Summer's bounty will soon be gone! Celebrate the end of summer with sauce made of fresh, end-of-season tomatoes.
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp. olive oil (optional)
- 2 lbs. (about 5-6) tomatoes, chopped
- 8 large basil leaves, or 1 Tbs. Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp. salt + ¼ tsp. pepper, more to taste
- Prepare the onion, garlic, and tomatoes; it’s your choice to leave the tomato seeds in or out. I usually take some out but don’t fuss over getting them all.
- Heat a medium to large pot over medium heat and drizzle with olive oil. Once warm, add onions. Sautee for 5- 8 minutes, until soft, stirring frequently.
- Add garlic, tomatoes, salt, and pepper and sauté for about 20-30 minutes, stirring as needed, until the liquid as reduced and the tomatoes are breaking down.
- Add contents of pot to a high-speed blender (I used my Vitamx) with basil or Italian seasoning and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust salt if necessary- I added about another 1/2 tsp. salt. If the consistency is too thin, feel free to add the sauce back to the pot to reduce for another 10-15 minutes.
This sauce will keep in the fridge for 5-7 days, or in the freezer for a few months.