Monday, October 5, 2015

Easiest Tomato Sauce

Hi All - I hope your loved ones are all safe after such a stormy weekend. We got lots of rain and cold weather around here but no flooding, thankfully. 

Weekends are a busy time for me, there's always so much to be done. The early part of Saturday was spent on indoor chores since the rain didn't want to let up. Later in the day I managed to get out to the vegetable garden to gather the ripe tomatoes - and there were plenty!  I always try to preserve as much of our summer and fall harvest as I can for the long winter months. It takes an investment in time now but it sure is worth it!

Excuse the photos today....my daughter took off with the camera, so these were all taken with my iPhone. 


I pulled in everything that was ripe and got to work making some easy tomato sauce for the freezer.


I peeled the larger ones by dropping them into boiling water for a couple of minutes - the skins peel right away from the flesh. 

The smaller tomatoes I left whole, just cutting off any blemishes and any hard spots from the stem end. 

I put them on the stove on low in a large nonstick stock pot, covered them, and let them simmer - a little while later they had released their juices and were looking like this:


I added a whole onion, peeled but not chopped, and a stick of salted butter and let them simmer together for about an hour while I happily puttered around the house. I removed the onion and froze it at the suggestion of my sweetie for future stews or soups (thanks, sweetie!) A little whiz around with the immersion blender to chop up any skins from the smaller tomatoes and we were done! 


This is an incredibly easy sauce which I often make in the winter months with canned whole tomatoes - two cans of whole peeled tomatoes, a large peeled onion, and a stick of butter goes into the crock pot on low before I leave for work....when I come home I have amazing sauce ready for dinner. And I always make enough for two meals, so one batch goes into the freezer. 

This time around I got 6 batches for the freezer - it will be so nice to enjoy the fruits of my labor on a cold wintry night, knowing these tomatoes came straight from the garden. 

I first read about this sauce in the Ski House Cookbook:



There are loads of easy recipes in this book, many of which are geared around something warm, comforting, and easy to prepare either before you head out for the day or after a long cold amazing day on the slopes.  

I've included one of my favorite recipes here along with the sauce recipe - this has been a huge hit at many dinner parties in my house and it's absolutely simple and foolproof! Served with a nice bottle of Barbera wine and a good crusty bread at a table shared with loved ones - how can you go wrong? 

Mangia!!  

Rigatoni with Sausage and Ricotta
1 pound dried rigatoni
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces sweet Italian pork sausage (about 3 links), casings removed
1 (25-ounce) jar tomato sauce or Buttery Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)
1/2 cup ricotta
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and ricotta and cook for 3 minutes more, or until bubbling. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
Drain the pasta, transfer to the skillet, and toss to combine. Serve immediately, topped with the Parmesan. Serves 4 to 6.
(Recipe courtesy of :"The Ski House Cookbook," Tina Anderson and Sarah Pinneo, 2007).
Buttery Tomato Sauce
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, butter and a large pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, lower the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 35 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are broken down and the sauce is thickened.
Discard the onion and taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately, or let cool and then cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until heated through.
Make about 3 cups or enough for 1 pound dried pasta.
(Recipe courtesy of :"The Ski House Cookbook," Tina Anderson and Sarah Pinneo, 2007).

11 comments:

  1. This buttery sauce is new to me / will have to try it! :0)

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  2. It's so easy and incredibly delicious, Deb!

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  3. I have never added butter, either, interesting! I am Italian, actually second generation American, so sauce was a staple in my house. I love it all year long. This looks great...so fresh!!

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    1. Hi Kim - you'll have to give it a try sometime and let me know what you think!

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  4. Tomato sauce and acid reflux problems do not go hand in hand. But that's a lot of sauce for the winter! I wouldn't have the freezer space.
    Brenda

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  5. Tomato sauce and acid reflux problems do not go hand in hand. But that's a lot of sauce for the winter! I wouldn't have the freezer space.
    Brenda

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  6. No, definitely not with acid reflux, sorry Brenda!! I am fortunate to have 3 freezers at my new house (one upstairs, one downstairs, and a stand up freezer in the garage) and I'm running out of freezer space at this point - crazy, right? It will help me out a ton in January when I do a "no spend month!"

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  7. I just now put a double batch of this I to my crockpot.
    Looking forward to giving this a try.
    Wonder how long to let it cook in the crockpot?

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    1. Did you use fresh tomatoes or canned? Fresh will take longer to break down. Canned - if you start it on high and then turn it to low once it comes to a simmer it should be ready for dinner by about 5:30 or 6, I would think! I truly hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!

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  8. I have never seen a recipe using butter to make tomato sauce, now you have my interest piqued! I have a bunch of frozen tomatoes from my garden in the freezer, and this is something I want to try with them. I will let you know what I think! Enjoying seeing your recipe roundup :)

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  9. Just read your post today about your beautiful garden and this recipe, so I had to come over here and check it out. I can't wait to try it - it looks so good! Pasta with tomato based sauce is my winter comfort food. Thanks!

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