Well, since it is a day for gathering, I must be off to...well...gather. But, before I go out to collect the herbs in my garden for drying, I have a tomato sauce recipe to share with you dear readers. It is a special one that I look forward to making every year. For those of you who have been requesting it all these years, here it is. For the rest of you dear readers, it's my favorite, and I hope it will be yours too.
|Here we go ...|
|Hang in there ...|
|One left ...|
|Ahhhh ....shake it out ...|
Time to dish.
Oana's Annual Tomato Sauce
Parenthesis: Yes, I felt a little weird about third personing myself but what the heck, let's be crazy (I may change it tomorrow if the weirdness turns into shame)...And, don't freak out about the cooking time. Just go to sleep or if you do it during the day, pick a lazy Sunday and prepare your favorite series. I just finished with Entourage. I am a little late to the table, as usual, and played catch up so I can appreciate season eight. But that's another story. Here we go.
Here is what you need...
- A big, huge box of plum tomatoes (aka half a bushel), very ripe. If yours are not so ripe, just leave them on the counter, covered with a cloth for three or four days and they'll come around.
- Olive oil, one cup
- Apple cider vinegar, half a cup
- Sea salt, three tablespoons
- Sugar, three tablespoons
- Soy sauce, three tablespoons
- Balsamic vinegar, half a cup
- A big huge sauce pot
- Turkish oily chili flakes, as spicy as you like it baby
- Butter (optional, some years I use it, some not. It depends on what my palate and thighs are saying to me that year), a quarter of a stick.
- Garlic, four cloves, smashed
- A potato masher, yep, that's what I use
Here is what to do...
- Wash the tomatoes. Still with me? Okay good. Score the tomatoes, a little X on one side of their little round bodies. It does not matter which one. Once scored, place the tomatoes (in batches because unless you have industrial pots, they will not all fit) into boiling water (must be boiling otherwise you will cook the tomatoes too much) for about three to four minutes. This loosens the skin so that you can peel them.
- Peel the tomatoes, and discard the skins (I have not yet been able to figure out another use for them).
- In your giant sauce pan, heat your olive oil and add the smashed garlic. Cook until fragrant. Then add your tomatoes and on high heat, bring to a boil. At this point reduce the heat to a low simmer and prepare for ten hours of cooking. What I do is this. Two hours in, I add all the other ingredients, stir and mash the tomatoes with the masher. Then I stir again, leave it for another two hours, stir, mash, check seasonings and then to bed. When I wake up, I stir, mash, check the seasonings and voila, all done. You may add more salt or sugar or acid or spice, depending on your own personal palate but if you do, add it during the last hour of cooking when you have a pretty good idea of what the final sauce is. I say this because flavors concentrate with long cooking times and you may think you need something at the beginning or half way through but it may not be necessary towards the end.
I use this sauce for all kinds of things. Pasta, all kinds, of course. In scallopinis, lasagna and over eggs. Anything Parmesan'ed. Chili. Add some fresh tomatoes, onions, avocado, lime and coriander and you have an amazing salsa.
Happy Thursday dear readers. Enjoy.