If you ask five people how they make sauce from tomatoes in their garden, I will 98 percent guarantee you that you will get five different responses.
Some people use a mill, other people crush them, some hate seeds.
What you’ll find below is the way I make it. I leave the seeds in it and just add basil, oregano, salt and crushed red pepper. Well, and of course olive oil. Adjust the seasonings to fit your tastes.
This summer alone I have made four batches. The taste will change depending on the tomatoes. Oh, yes, the tomatoes. Here is another “controversial” thing. Everyone will tell you what type you should use. I plant a wide variety of tomatoes every year, everything from beefsteaks and early girls to roma and plum. I use all of them in sauce. If the tomato grows in my garden, it is subject to becoming sauce.
Step 1: Get everything together.
- pot for the sauce that has olive oil in the bottom (the amount of olive oil will depend on how many tomatoes you have)
- pot with boiling hot water
- a bowl with ice cold water (I also keep a lot of ice on hand so I can switch out the water as I am doing it)
- cutting board and knife
- a sturdy slotted spoon
- garbage can
- lots of paper towels
- immersion blender
- spices ~ basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, salt (all added to fit your tastes)
- tomato paste
Step 2: Boil the water and prep the tomatoes
While the water is coming to a boil, rinse all your tomatoes making sure any dirt is off of them. Then, using the knife, make a cross on the bottom of them. This helps to get the skin off of them.
Step 3: Put them in the boiling water.
Making sauce isn’t an exact science, so once the tomatoes go in the water, watch for the skins to automatically start peeling back. That’s when it is time to remove them. It usually takes a few minutes depending on how hot the water is and how firm the tomatoes are.
Step 4: Take a cold bath.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes and place them in an ice cold water bath. I have found the colder the water the easier the skin will be to peel when you take them out.
Step 5: Skin them.
Once the tomatoes are cooled, using your hand and a paper towel, carefully remove them from the water patting the outside dry and trying to drain any excess water. Place them on the cutting board (note: you want a less watery sauce, put a paper towel down on the cutting board to absorb the excess water) and peel back the skins and chop the top/stem part of the tomato off.
Leave some of the tomatoes whole and cut up others. Always have a variety. Place the peeled tomatoes into the pot with the olive oil.
Step 6: Repeat and Repeat and Repeat
Once you have a decent amount of tomatoes in the pot, season with spices and turn on the heat. Then, keep repeating Steps 2-5 until you have finished all the tomatoes. While you are doing that, make sure you watch the pot with what will become the sauce. Stir every once in a while and make sure it doesn’t burn.
Step 7: Blend, cook and taste.
Run the immersion blend through the sauce until there are no more large chunks. Continue to let the sauce cook down until it thickens. To speed up this process, I usually add a can, or two, of tomato paste.
As it’s cooking, continue to stir and taste, adjusting the seasonings to fit your tastes.