The best tomato sauce ever.

tomatoes for sauce makingAnd Jon makes it.  We scraped together almost all of our cherry tomatoes at the end of last season and made 4 or 5 bags of sauce to freeze. It was so fantastic to have that sauce in the middle of winter when we were craving fresh pasta sauce and had no tomatoes.  Even in California, the tomatoes in the middle of winter are terrible and sometimes borderline disgusting.  Once you go farm you never go back. I harvested 19.8 lbs of tomatoes today alone.  I think we will make it through this winter. The sauce is very easy to make and can be tweaked depending on the ingredients you have available.  All you need to have for sure are tomatoes. This recipe is a combination of Jon and mine.

yellow and orange tomatoesFor 8 quarts of sauce to use or freeze;

2 lbs. of tomatoes, preferably from your garden or farmer’s market (yellow or orange are fun to mix it up)
1 onion chopped finely
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
Crushed red pepper flakes
Small handful of fresh oregano
Large bunch of fresh basil
Olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat a big glug of olive oil in asimmering tomato sauce large pot. Dice onion and crush garlic. Add the garlic to the oil and cook on medium until the garlic starts to barely brown, remove it from the oil and set aside. Add the diced onion to the oil and sweat until it is translucent and soft. Add a few pinches of crushed red pepper (or more if you like it spicy) and salt and pepper. Wash and cut the tomatoes into ice-cube sized chunks. Once the onion is translucent, add the tomatoes and bay leaves to the pot and stir the ingredients together.  Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer the mixture on medium heat until the tomatoes start to soften. Use a garlic press to crush the reserved cooked garlic, add the fresh oregano and simmer with the sauce a few minutes to release their flavor and scent.  Next, remove the pot from the heat, discard the bay leaves and puree with an immersion blender.  We leave the seeds and skins in there; a little extra fiber never hurt anyone.  If you don’t like the seeds, you can pass the sauce through a sieve at this time.  19.8 lbs babyOnce the mixture is smooth, return the pot to the head and simmer on low for 15 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens.  In the meantime, wash and chiffonade a large bunch of basil to add at the last minute.  When the sauce reaches the right thickness for you, turn off the heat and add the basil. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed and stir.  Let cool and portion out into zip lock bags or jars for canning and/or preserving.  Zip lock bags are best filled half way and then laid on their side in the freezer in little sauce stacks.

homemade sauce on pastaYum, yum, yum…You could totally be eating this right now.

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