Adventures in tomato-saucing

Ohai guise! I haz excuses for light posting but they really aren’t worth going through. Anyway, there’s about five readers tops, one of whom is my mom.

So the farm markets are at the point where they sell boxes and boxes of tomatoes like they’re going out of style. And in a sense, they are – out of style, out of season, same difference! I’d been wavering on whether to make tomato sauce this year as I have been trying to stay resolute in reducing the amount of pasta I eat. It’s worked quite well but is so difficult. Seriously. And last year I made so much that I still have a tiny bit left.

But in the end, those boxes full of tomatoes got me, and so that’s why last night from about 7 to 11, rather than doing some traditional Friday night wild activity, you would have found me destroying my kitchen with sauce making.

As with many things I make from scratch, I don’t really use a recipe, but look up a bunch of different ones and take what works for me – plus some stuff I learned from my Italian teachers back in college. Now I just kind of wing it based on the past couple years.

I’m sure purists would be horrified. For starters, I use regular tomatoes and not Romas. Second, I don’t have a food mill and after peeling and seeding, I use my beloved stick blender. Third, I found that I had only red onion in the house this time. Would that stop me? No indeed. Fourth, I had to supplement my sad little basil plant’s yield with leaves from a store-bought basil. Fifth, I’m sure I should be spending all day and I didn’t, although it was quite lengthy; and finally, yes, horror of horrors, sometimes I add sugar. I don’t care. I love making it, I think it tastes great, and if I hold out for perfect I’ll never finish a thing.

I took pictures of my disaster kitchen but I’ll spare you the excruciating slideshow. Here is a sauce shot, while cooking down:

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Finishing it with basil:

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Some of the flavorings, removed (I left one garlic in and ate these myself):

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And at 11 or so, I sat down to this:

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Hey, I had to try it fresh. Who cares what time? And yes, I had to use real pasta. None of this whole wheat for this one. Too bad I only had the parm from a can but it was great.

Then while waiting for it to cool enough to freeze, I fell asleep. So at 3 am you would have found me in the kitchen pouring sauce into freezer bags. It’ll last me ages. Now my hands will be tomato-stained for days. And I still have some tomatoes left, which I think I will oven-dry.

It’s always an adventure, and it’s so much fun.

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About Pippi Longstomach

In my home all hungry times are one o'clock. -C.S. Lewis
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