J grew up next to a woman straight from Italy. She is so wonderful, warm, generous, funny, and a fabulous cook as well. She is the genius behind an amazing Tomato sauce. So J decided to take advantage of the bountiful amounts of fresh plum tomatoes at the Syracuse farmers market and decided to make her fresh tomato sauce. I have to admit, I was a little iffy about it at first because I have a lot of expectations for sauce. It needs to be well-rounded, and the flavors need to be balanced. It needs to taste fully but tangy. I like a little texture to it as well.
I know he’s my husband but DANG the sauce he made met all of my criteria and surpassed them. He served it to me over some al dente spaghetti and I was licking the bowl after I ate all the pasta. His neighbor gave him this recipe and I wanted to share it with you!
8 quarts Roma Tomatoes
1 large Vidalia onion or 2 small – medium onions
4 garlic cloves
1/2 – 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cans of Hunt’s tomato paste
1 Italian pepper
1 handful of fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash tomatoes and then crosshatch the bottom of each tomato (not too deep, just enough to score the skin.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Drop in tomatoes (in small batches) in water for about a minute. Use a slotted spoon to pull them out. Set them aside. Repeat until all tomatoes have been boiled. This loosens up the skin so you can easily peel off the skin off all the tomatoes. Once all tomatoes are peeled, set them aside.
Chop the onion and garlic. In a big soup pot, bring oil up to temperature (using medium high heat). Add chopped onions. Cook until soft and golden, approximately 12 minutes. Midway through, add chopped garlic. Be careful not to burn onions or garlic. After the 12 minutes, add all the tomato paste and stir frequently for 3 – 4 minutes.
Add tomatoes (either rough chop before) or give each tomato a big squeeze before adding into pot. Turn heat down to medium. Stir frequently to avoid burning the bottom of the pan. Cook for 1 and 1/2 hours.
Seed and cut pepper in half (lengthwise). Add to pot. Rough cut basil and add to pot. Add a bit of salt and pepper, but don’t overdo it because sauce will continue to reduce. Continue to cook for another 1 – 2 hours, until you see oil appear at the top layer. Once that happens, the sauce is done.
This makes A LOT of sauce, so jar it up and enjoy!