Monday, September 9, 2013

Summer's Fresh Tomato Sauce

This is my favorite thing to make at this time of year. Nothing could be simpler...well, maybe if you omitted the sausage. It is a joyous celebration of my summer garden. With a smile, I head out to the garden. The garden is heady with the scent of all the fragrant herbs like basil, oregano and thyme. Plump tomatoes weigh down the tomato branches seeming to need tying up each time I get out there. A quick harvest of sun ripened tomatoes, some basil and oregano and I head back to the kitchen to make the Fresh Tomato Sauce.

3 lbs of sun ripened tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 medium size shallots, finely diced
2 bay leaves
1 handful of fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
or use 2  teaspoons of dried italian seasoning

1/2 to 1 lb of hot Italian sausage (skinned) or
1 to 1 lb of regular sausage (skinned) and 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes or
1/2 lb of pancetta or bacon


Set a pot of water to boil. While waiting for the water to boil, cut an X at the bottom of each tomato. Prepare and ice bath. We will briefly plunge the prepared tomato in boiling water for approximately 30 seconds until the skin start to loosen at the X. Remove the tomatoes and plunge into an ice batch. This will stop the cooking and further help loosen the tomato skin. Once all the tomatoes have been blanched and cooled, just peel away the skin. Set aside.
Green Zebra Tomatoes
Red Brandywine Tomatoes 
 Skins easily slip off the tomatoes in ice/ cold water bath
If using sausage, remove skin/ casing. Break it up into chunks. Place sausage in a heated up saucepan and cooking over medium to high heat, rendering out fat, until lightly brown. This takes 5-7 minutes. Removed brown sausage to a bowl. Depending on my mood, I either remove all the fat that has been rendered and replace it with 1 tablespoon of olive oil or I drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the sausage rendering.

Saute shallots and garlic until soften, not brown. Add brown sausage meat back into the pan. Next, I just use my hands to break apart the prepared tomatoes into the pan. I like my sauce chunky. Today, I used both the Green Zebra and the Red Brandywine tomatoes. Similarly, I just tear my basil leaves into the sauce. Fresh tomatoes are very juicy. Once the sauce comes to a boil, I reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes or until it is the thickness you want. Be careful not to overcook or you will lose the experience of the fresh tomato sauce. Taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve with your favorite pasta. I like it with Spaghetti, Fettuccine or Linguini.

Sorry, I was so hungry and overwhelm by the delicious aroma that I did not take a picture of the finished dish. Will update this post with picture the next time I make this dish 

NB. This sauce is really easy and flexible. Use what you have in hand. No sausage, use some bacon or pancetta or totally omit all meat. Amount of sausage use depends on your family or in my case, what I have in the fridge. If not using any meat to season the sauce, adjust seasoning. I like adding 1 teaspoon of chili flakes to spice up the sauce. 

No comments:

Post a Comment