After a slow start to the season, our tomatoes are really beginning to bear fruit. And the husband planted quite a few this year: the usual beefsteak & cherry tomato varieties, but also – because I asked nicely – a type called Long Tom. Which are big plants with big, elongated, fleshy fruit. Lots of them. So I’ve been making sauce – not the kind you’d put on sausages & pies, but the kind you’d use with pasta, or cook down to make a thick pizza sauce.
I tend not to use a fixed recipe for these. (Poor daughter 😦 ) I always begin with about 50g butter & a slosh of olive oil in one of my Really Large Pans, in which I set a couple of peeled & chopped onions to soften gently over low heat. After that I tend to add what’s available. The tomatoes are obviously a given 🙂 This time round I had a couple of kilos, which began their journey to sauce-dom by being put in a bowl & covered with boiling water, to make them easy to peel. While they sat there I peeled and sliced several smallish heads of garlic & added them to the onions, followed by half a dozen sliced ‘bulls horn’ red peppers (seeds removed). The peeled & chopped tomatoes joined everything else in the pan and then, because we have a lot of them as well, 4 thinly-sliced courgettes. (After all, I told myself, no-one – not even the courgette-averse – will know they’re there, once I’ve blitzed everything with the blender.)
Pot covered, I left it all to simmer over a low heat for about 20 minutes & then added a cup of chopped basil & about 1/2 c of fresh oregano leaves. A taste indicated a certain need for salt (1-2 tsp), & this time I also added 1 tsp of the lovely smoked paprika that my friend Annette gave me a while back. The final step when I’m making sauce is to add baking soda (1 tsp for this quantity of sauce): it cuts out most of the acidity & you’re left with a lovely, sweet, well-rounded sauce 🙂
The stick blender is about on its last legs, but it just managed to puree the vegetables, & once everything had cooled a bit I poured it into zip-lock bags & froze it for a less fruitful time of year. (Apart from that which I used in last night’s dinner, that is!).