What To Do With All Those Tomatoes!

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SUMMER SAUCE

It’s the end of the summer growing season and there is an over abundance of fresh tomatoes. The super markets are bursting at the seams, as are home gardens with vines that have yielded more tomatoes than you have ever anticipated.

Since I love to make my sauce for pasta using fresh tomatoes I look forward to the open market where I purchase fresh tomatoes by the case and always get a great price since everyone has plenty of tomatoes to sell.  I make sauce then “can” them so I have jars of sauce with that just picked off the vine flavor through out the winter.

This recipe is easy to make and is versatile, it can be also served as a soup nice and hot for those chilly nights that are surely coming or cold for a refreshing lunch or dinner for the remainder of the summer.

I highly recommend you purchase a Chinois. A Chinois is a strainer for soup and sauces. You can purchase a chinois at William Sonoma on line or at any of their stores. The one I  suggest is “Rosie Conical Strainer & Pestle. This has the perfect size holes for making this sauce.

Enjoy!

SUMMER SAUCE

Yields Approximately 1-1/2 to 2 quarts

16 vine ripened medium to large round tomatoes

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced thin

4 scallions chopped into small chunks, green parts too

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons kosher salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

8 basil leaves stacked on top of each other then rolled into a cigarette and sliced super thin, do this at the last minute just before you serve as a garnish on top of the pasta

Heat a large heavy sauce-pan on medium high heat for 2 minutes. Add the olive oil and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan. Immediately add the onions and scallions, cook for 10 to 12 minutes to bring out the juices and natural sugar in the onions. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper. Add red pepper flakes if using. Mix everything together well, lower the heat to medium.

Cover with a lid slightly ajar. Gently boil or simmer for 50 to 60 minutes to cook down most of the liquid from the tomatoes. Check every 15 minutes to make sure the tomatoes are not boiling to hard and that too much of the liquid is not evaporating. If the tomatoes have thickened before the 60  minutes are up turn off the stove and go to the next step.

In blender add 3 cups of the tomato mixture and blend for 2 whole minutes.

Pass the mixture through a chinois (Chinese cap) to remove the skin and seeds into a clean pot.

Continue this process until all of the tomatoes have been blended and strained.

Correct seasoning, add more salt and pepper if desired. Make sure to heat the sauce thoroughly until hot.

Cook your favorite pasta according to package directions. One pound of pasta will serve 8 to 10.

Mix 1 to 2 ladles of pasta sauce over your favorite cooked pasta, mix in the sauce gently. Add an extra helping of sauce over the top of each serving, add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, and scatter with the thin slices of basil.

 

 

 

 

 

A SAUCE THAT IS A SOUP

To serve as a soup for a chilly night, heat the sauce thoroughly until piping hot (add 1/2 cup of whole, 2% or non-fat milk (optional) and mix until blended. Sprinkle over 4 to 5 croutons, a drizzle of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of crumbled Greek Feta or Goat cheese and chopped fresh basil. If you find that the soup is too thick you can thin it out by using chicken stock to make it a consistency you like. I like mine thick and hardy!

I always like to use a pinch of finishing salts with my recipes it brings out and added element of taste and flavor. I found this outstanding salt company at the open market and I use these salts to enhance my dishes. Hepp’s Salt Co has an array of salts from all over the world reasonably priced. My personal favorite is ghost pepper, a mixture of salts and peppers with a hot spicy flavor! Wakes up the flavor of any dish!  www.heppssalt.com

If you want to serve the sauce chilled soup just serve right from the fridge, add extra virgin olive oil or truffle oil with croutons and shaved parmesan girls. You can also crumble some crisp bacon bits, chopped tomatoes and lettuce for a BLT Soup!

 

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