Real Tomato Sauce

There is no good reason to buy canned tomato or spaghetti sauce when you have fresh tomatoes available.  Here’s a quick and easy way to make your own real tomato sauce with no additives.

You will need:

fresh tomatoes
a pot
enough water to cover the tomatoes plus a couple of centimeters
a relatively large holed strainer
a dash or two of salt

Just rinse and put the tomatoes in the pot, and cover them with water.

Add a dash or two of salt to the water.

Place on high heat until boiling, and then turn the heat down enough to just let it simmer.

Let the tomatoes cook until the peels start to split and come off a bit.

Pour the tomatoes into a strainer.  Discard the water.

Place the strainer over the pot and using the bottom of a glass or bowl or a masher, press the tomatoes through the strainer.

The skins will be left behind, and in the pot you will have basic tomato sauce (pomodoro).

If you like, you can cook it longer, but try it at this phase and I think you’ll like it.

Add whatever seasonings you like to make spaghetti sauce or salsa.

This can be frozen ahead, so it’s a good way to save tomatoes that are almost at the end of their shelf life.

Back in the Routine

The winter holidays are over, and we’re all done eating the leftovers.  I still have lots of ingredients that I overbought, but I’m not worried.  They’ll get used eventually.  That’s the beauty of raw materials.  They can be used to make lots of things.

But since the last of the cooked turkey has been souped or sandwiched, and the last of the guacamole wiped, it was time to begin the family’s routine anew.  So today I cooked a big pot of plain white beans, and another pot of chickpeas.  Tonight, I made barbecue beans with some of the white beans, and some cornbread to go with it.

I sacrificed nothing in the taste, but there is a way to go about these things without going crazy.  First off, since I like a smokey flavor in my barbecue beans, I used sausage in them.  To get the maximum flavor with the minimum fat, I grated about a quarter cup of a very well aged, dry smoked flavored salami.  This, I sauteed for a few seconds in a bit of olive oil just before adding the onions to sweat.

Second, I made my own barbecue sauce from tomato paste, mustard, chili sauce, maple syrup, garlic crystals, pepper, and vinegar.  Just dump that on top of your frying onions, and let it boil, and then put in your beans.  It came out fabulous.

A reduced fat but full taste chili can be made similarly.  Just use chili powder and tomato paste instead of the barbecue sauce.

In a moment, I’m going to take a hand blender to a bowl of the chickpeas and make some home made hummus for tomorrow’s lunch.  Yummy 🙂