I was working on a post for today but it may have been a little too weird for all you Friday heads out there trying to survive the last day of the week and get your weekend on, so I will save the weirdness for monday. In other news I just woke up and remembered that through most of my dream I was running from bombs. Ever have those?
Yesterday I hit the jackpot. I didn’t win the lottery but I might as well have. Since it has been raining for the past few days I decided to let my plants do their thing with the hopes of coming back to them full of surprises. Thing about change is that it is really hard to notice when you see the same thing, or the same person, day after day. We tend to take snapshots of things and solidify them in our minds as being a certain way. I like to call this the hair growing principal. If you see a person everyday you might not notice that they are growing their hair out. But take that same person, have them out of your life for a month, and upon returning you might just be surprised at how long their hair has grown.
And it was the same with my tomato plants. After 3 days of straight rain I finally decided to go up and see how the little buggers were doing. At first glance I saw a bunch of beautifully ripe new tomatoes and quickly picked them off. But then, hmm, what is that under all of those leaves? A hidden tomato? Another hidden tomato. Holy Shit there must be 15 ruby red tomatoes under all of those leaves!!!! Jackpot.
What better way to use tomatoes than to make a fresh tomato sauce? And wait, my habanero plant just produced a bright green bundle of hell burning joy? I’ll use that too.
Tomato sauce, if made correctly, is one of the greatest things on the planet. And lucky for us, it is also one of the easiest.
Fresh Tomato Sauce Recipe
- Either 8-10 medium sized tomatoes or 1 can of San Marzano Tomatoes (crushed if possible)
- 1 white/sweet/vidalia onion diced
- 2-3 Cloves of Garlic
- Some Fresh Basil Leaves
- Olive Oil/Salt/Pepper
- 1 Habanero or another hot pepper chopped up fine, or crushed red pepper (depending on how much you want to blow your head off)
- Note: If using fresh tomatoes, first cut a small X at the bottom of the tomato, boil some water, drop the tomatoes in the water for a minute and then take them out and shock them in some ice water. Peel off the skins of the tomatoes which should be easy since they have been blanched. Chop or puree them in a blender, depending on what you like.
1. Set a well fit (big enough) sauce pan over medium high heat and once hot add some olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.
2. Add in the onions and sauté until they start to brown. Toss in the garlic and cook and stir for another minute or two being careful not to burn the garlic.
3. Add the tomatoes, about a half cup/cup of water and stir. Toss in the peppers (if using). Add about a teaspoon or two of salt and pepper. Note: the more water you use the thinner it will initially be but the longer you can cook the tomato sauce down without it becoming a past. It will help concentrate the flavors, the longer the cooking, but water also dilutes flavor so be sure to add extra seasoning.
4. Bring this to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. I sometimes add some garlic and onion powder at this point.
5. Stir occasionally and season to taste. Most canned tomatoes require some sort of sweetness but San Marzano tomatoes rule the world and are perfectly sweet on their own.
6. At this point it is up to you. Sometimes I will cook my tomato sauce all day long until it gets really thick and the flavor concentrates, other times I cook it for an hour and have a great pizza sauce. But try out a few things if you’d like. The important thing is that you get the taste to where you want it to be. At the end of the cooking process toss in some chopped basil leaves, stir, let it simmer for a few minutes and then take off the heat and serve. Small note* Habanero peppers are the worlds hottest commercially grown pepper (or something like that). They will blow you r head off if eaten as is but the flavor is incredible so if you can add just the right amount you will be a happy camper. Too much and you may be a crappy camper.