It sure helps to have a handy versatile tomato sauce like this one on hand. It doesn’t take much time to make and, ok I’ll say it, it’s easy peasy Am I getting a bit too predictable?? That’s a good sign that we’re getting to know each other better.
10 – 15 ripe tomatoes (choose ones that smell like real live tomatoes)
156 mL (5.5oz) tin of tomato paste
6-10 ounces rich red wine (love that resveratrol!!)
olive oil for sauteing
1 peeled, sliced onion
7-10 garlic cloves crushed with a garlic press
7 cleaned, sliced mushrooms (optional)
10 pieces sliced sun-dried tomatoes
season with salt, pepper, hot chilli peppers (optional), basil
Half fill a large pot with water, add salt and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare your cleaned tomatoes by slitting an long X on the bottom of each, making sure you go up the sides of each. In a large bowl put a few iced cubes on the bottom. Once the water has boiled add half of the tomatoes to the pot and allow to the skins to peel back as the water reaches another boil. At this time remove each tomato with a slotted spoon and put them in your bowl with ice. Add the rest of the tomatoes to the boiling water and repeat this process. Drain the water from the bowl. When the tomatoes are cool enough to touch remove the remaining tomato skin and core of each one. Chop up the tomatoes coarsely.
In a deep saucepan like the one in the photo add olive oil and heat on medium low. Add the prepared garlic and onion and saute until softened. If you like mushrooms in your sauce add them next, then sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute some more. When cooked through turn up the heat and pour in the wine. Cover with a lid and allow to bubble for a minute or so. This will help you get all of the tasty bits off the bottom of the pan. A wise trick my Mom taught me. And yes wine is good for a lot of things!! Add in the tomatoes, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste and season to your liking. Allow to simmer for about an hour stirring occasionally. Allow to cool and presto it’s ready to use now or freeze in containers for when you need it.
It’s handy having some sauce like this on hand. First of all, who doesn’t have a vegetarian friend or two these days. As I mentioned in the post on October 27 it’s good for all of us to “flex” our eating muscle once in a while and be a flexitarian and eat meatless now and then. You can use this sauce the old fashioned way with pasta. You can keep it on hand and make a wondy lasagna (will post this next week). It also doubles well when you want to make a pizza and need some tomato sauce (see May 14 post). It’s really so versatile.
By the way, did you notice my trusty wooden spoon in my pot It was my Grandma’s. Yes, it still works well after decades and decades of cooking. I think it makes my food taste even better. Give this recipe a try and enjoy!!