Fresh Tomato Sauce
Preserve part of the summer season: Gather as many just-picked tomatoes as you can find, cook up a big pot of sauce, and stow containers of it in your freezer. If you like your sauce sweet, or if your tomatoes are too acidic, add a tablespoon or two of sugar once the sauce is finished cooking.
- 10 pounds beefsteak or plum tomatoes (or a combination)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion, coarsely grated
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water. With a paring knife, core tomatoes, and score an X on the bottoms. Working in batches, carefully lower tomatoes into boiling water; when skins begin to split (30 to 60 seconds), use a slotted spoon to transfer tomatoes to ice water.
When tomatoes are cool, remove skins (use a paring knife, if necessary), and discard. Halve tomatoes. Remove seeds with a spoon, and discard. Finely chop tomatoes.
In a Dutch oven (or other large pot), heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring, until slightly darkened, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes, and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and saucy, about 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper. Use immediately, or freeze in airtight containers up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in microwave before warming.