Fresh Tomato Sauce
As I have stated before – Tomatoes. Are. Delicious.
I always plant far too many of them in the spring, and then have more than even I know what to do with in August! I would love to say that I can these juicy little gems, saving them at the peak of their flavor…but that would be a lie. I’m a full time working mom, I barely have time to PICK the tomatoes, much less can them!
If I’m going to actually capitalize on these ruby beauties, I need to have a fast, easy, and delicious recipe that I can whip together with little or no prep time. This tomato sauce is just that!
It’s highly versatile too! So far I’ve used it for spaghetti, ravioli, manicotti, and most recently, lasagna! In every application it has always outperformed my expectations. Since it’s really just tomatoes and herbs the flavor is SO strong of late summer. For my raviolis, where the sauce is the star, I only cooked it long enough to heat it up, completely preserving the freshness innate to it. When I made my lasagna I cooked it a bit longer, reducing it a bit to thicken it. When I did it this way I didn’t add the herbs until the last 10 minutes of cooking. By doing that I got the sauce reduced, and still had that bright pop of basil and parsley, instead of a muddied flavor from overcooked herbs.
Feel free to play with the texture and thickness of the sauce as well. For example with ravioli, I didn’t puree at all, I left it nice and chunky for added texture as opposed to my spaghetti, which I did a bit in-between, leaving some chunks, and my lasagna, which I completely pureed smooth. It’s really up to your individual taste.
If you find other applications that this sauce works well for, please shoot me an email and let me know! I’m always on the lookout for new ideas!
- 2.5 lb tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley
- 1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp turbinado sugar
Bring a 3 quart saucepan filled with 2 quarts of water to a boil. Once it has reached a full, rolling boil place 2 or 3 tomatoes into the water at a time and bring it back to a boil for about 30 seconds. Using a tongs, life the tomatoes out of the water and set aside to cool.
Finely chop the parsley and chiffonade the basil. Mince the garlic.
Peel and core the tomatoes. The peels should slip right off. If you want to use the tomatoes in neat little squares and are not planning on emulsifying, or perhaps only emulsifying a bit, chop them into half inch squares. Throw half of them into the pan and reserve the other half of the squares to mix in later. If you don't want to emulsify any of it, put all the squares back in the pan, with the sugar and spices and skip the next step.
If you want a smooth sauce, roughly chop the tomatoes and throw them all into the pan. Throw in the garlic, s&p and sugar and stir to mix. Using either an immersion blender or a regular blender,give everything a few pulses until it reaches the consistency you are looking for. Pour it back into the pan. At this point if you reserved any tomato squares, toss them back into the pan.
If you would like to reduce a bit, do that now over low heat. For my lasagna I cooked it for about 20mn over medium low. Otherwise just cook until hot.
Stir in fresh basil and parsley and serve.