Trying to make the most of the season, I have just finished turning two boxes of tomatoes ($15 each) from the Slow Food Farmers’ Market on Saturday into sauce – some pasta sauce and some sauce to have with pies, sausages, etc.<
After such a long stint of hot weather our few tomato plants are well on the way out. Fortunately, farmers are much better at this than me, so I can still afford to buy plenty and make our own sauce.
I am far from being an expert on dealing with tomatoes, but having done this for a couple of years now, here are my few observations:
– Its worth the time it takes to peel the tomatoes for pasta sauce, especially if you like to cook your sauce for a long time so it is quite concentrated. Those little stringy bits get the big thumbs down from the kids.
– Tomatoes with smooth, umblemished skins are the easiest to do this with
– I'm always amazed how little sauce you can produce from a box, many hours peeling and simmering, but I take heart that it is very concentrated and you don't need to use much at a time
– Always do more than you think if you dont want to buy sauce during the year – I hope to do 5 boxes this year (three to go: gulp!)
– I have found I only need to do half a box of tomatoes for the ketchup style sauce (would love a better description!) and that lasts us for the year (4 litres or so). I use a recipe that adds apples and plenty of spice. Last year I used a recipe with Ezy Sauce, but wanting to avoid the big supermarkets, I googled some alternatives, and they seem to include plenty of vinegar, allspice, black pepper, cloves, ginger and paprika. The kids are yet to give their verdict.
While a hot stove on a hot day seems quite mad at the time, I know we will appreciate the effort when tucking into an effortless homemade pasta sauce in the middle of winter.