Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fresh tomato sauce take 2

A slight adaptation from the 10 minute tomato pasta sauce is to take a little more time (lol, d'oh) and allow the sauce to simmer longer, resulting in a rich tasting (yet liquidier!) sauce.

First of all, when I have more time, I make an effort to peel the tomatoes. It takes only a few minutes, and it is really worth the slight effort of boiling a kettle and using 2 bowls :)

This sauce has much less Kunserva in it, and it ends up being a much paler (but still so flavoursome) sauce.

First, to peel the tomatoes. Ok it's important to use the "Roma" or "egg" or "zenguli" tomatoes for this recipe - other tomatoes are simply not good enough. The riper, the redder, the more "bits" you have to cut out cos they are not perfect, the better. These tomatoes are very fleshy, with relatively less pulp and seeds to other tomatoes. Makes them ideal for a tasty tomato sauce!

Choose your tomatoes and make a thinly slit cross with a sharp knife at the opposite end to the stalk end. This will help with peeling once you have loosened the skin.

Place them in a large pyrex or metal bowl. Boil a kettle and pour the water directly over the tomatoes and leave for a couple of minutes.

the blanching tomatoes

Take one out to test and if the skin comes off easily (it literally just falls off with a slight pull of one of the corners), peel, cut off the stalk end and place in another bowl. Repeat with all tomatoes.

Once done, chop the peeled tomatoes roughly, ensuring that you remove any rotten bits or insect holes.

MAKING THE SAUCE to serve 4 people

As you can see the ingredients are very similar to 10 minute tomato sauce but of course increased to serve 4 people, except for the kunserva, I still used about a tablespoon. I also only use about a teaspoon (maybe 2) of sugar still.

About 12 fresh ripe tomatoes
Kunserva (tomato paste)
garlic (i used about 8 cloves for 4)
giant handful of basil from the garden (if you don't have potted basil, get some!)
Pasta (i used wholegrain spaghetti)
salt, pepper, sugar, e.v. olive oil

Make the using the same method, except throw it all into a saucepan rather than a frypan -

Chop up the garlic and tomatoes.
Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and add the garlic, stir on LOW heat.
When slightly softened add a tablespoon or so of tomato paste and stir fry for a little.
Add the tomatoes and keep stirring, all the time. at this point add about a teaspoon of sugar, some salt and pepper. I added a few torn basil leaves.

Cook over a low heat for at least 20 minutes, allowing the tomatoes to melt into the sauce. This sauce will be liquid-ier than the 10 minute sauce, but remember u will not be adding pasta directly to the pan, but serving it on top.

If you would like to do the whole "undercook the pasta, add it to the sauce" thing, you are more than welcome, however I am lazy and don't like to dirty an extra frypan when I've already used a saucepan for the sauce, and pot for the pasta.

Don't forget to sprinkle the sauce with large amounts of fresh basil just as you switch it off. I tear it in directly with my fingers, as cutting basil with a knife makes it black and somewhat bitter/aniseedy.

Serve with lashings of pecorino or some other salty hard cheese like parmiggiano.


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