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Benvenuti al Tutti!

Welcome to Luigi's Tastes of Italy

This blog is my small dedication to Italian cooking, and is abolutely 100% free of pretentiousness, complicated ingredients, or any effort to present Italian cuisine as anything other than it really is, very simple.

Hope you enjoy reading my posts and maybe trying out some of the recipes.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Fresh Tomato Sauce


This year we have grown a large number of Cuore di Bue and St Pierre tomatoes. Both of these are fantastically flavoured and when picked fresh and slightly green are excellent for salads, however they can become truly exceptional 'cookers' if left to fully ripen on the vine, from which you can produce great tasting tomato sauces with the minimum of effort.

Really I never understand why people purchase ready made artificial tasting pasta sauce from supermarkets, when it is so easy to make your own healthy variety. So should you be in a position of having lots of spare tomatoes, even if its ones from the supermarket, the below recipe is an exceptionally easy and versatile way of making use of them.

All you need is a heavy bottomed pan,  and a spare hour or so.  The results will be far superior to anything you can buy in a jar, and can be portioned and frozen with little flavour loss, for at least six months.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil,
12-15 large Tomatoes  (I would recommend heirloom varities for their superb flavour),
2-3 Cloves of Garlic crushed,
Handful of chopped Fresh Basil,
Salt and Pepper to season,
1/2 teaspoon of Oregano,
1/4 teaspoon of Sugar (optional),
1/4 teaspoon of Tomato Puree/Concentrate/Paste (optional),
 100-150ml of Water

 METHOD:

-Firstly prepare the tomatoes, by criss-crossing the skin with a knife just piercing the skin, plunge them into hot water for 10 seconds, before immediately dunking into iced water.  This will allow you to remove the skins, as you will find they will crinkle, and curl up making it far easier. Once skinned, de-seed and chunk them into a small dice.

-Heat the Olive Oil in a heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat, add the garlic, soften for a few minutes then add the chunked/diced tomato. If the tomatoes are not fully ripe, or are flavour lacking ones from the supermarket you can add a 1/4 teaspoon of tomato concentrate to bolster the flavour (this little trick, really does work trust me). Then increase the heat slightly and cook out the tomatoes.

-After around 10 minutes of cooking, add the seasoning, oregano, the pinch of sugar (optional) and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.  You now continue to simmer the tomatoes, and add some water to keep a good viscosity. I would recommend you simmer for around 30-40 minutes,  taste and adjust the seasoning, and then finish with the Fresh Basil, and cook for a further 10 minutes to infuse the flavours.

This sauce can be used immediately, or can be cooled and kept in the fridge for a few days.  Alternatively this can also be portioned into freezer proof containers and frozen for later use. Its a great standby to have available, and can be used as a base for other sauces. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Jelli Bean said...

I live in the tropics, where we always have fresh tomatoes available at great prices. Twice a month I make sauce very similar to this and freeze it. Not only is it delicious, but also very budget friendly. The only problem is getting my family convinced that tomato sauce is not supposed to taste like Prego.

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