On To The Second Batch

Tomatoes, tomatoes and still more tomatoes!

In my neck of the woods our spring and early summer were soakers! I mean torrential downpours were the norm and lucky for me, I always got stuck driving in them! We went weeks before the weather cleared up and we actually dried out. It was a real drag around here for sure. As a result, the garden I had hoped for this year was just a glimmer of hope.

The three rows of beans that I planted well…, two rows died from drowning and one row produced actual beans for three pickings – only.

The peas, well I pretty much wrote those off as a lost cause since I could practically count how many pods I picked.

The hot peppers, don’t ask me what happened to them. Each year I plant Hungarian hot’s and they never fail me.

As far as the potatoes, I got enough to fill eight bags. Not like last year where I had potatoes coming out of my ears!

The only vegetables that persevered throughout the monsoon season, and then the drought are the…

TOMATOES!

Yes, these lovely orbs of sweet and juicy goodness. I picked enough tomatoes the first time around to make eight freezer bags of pasta sauce. I am on to the second batch now since the tomatoes haven’t slowed down. Not in the slightest!

Making pasta sauce is an arduous and lengthy process which requires free time. I don’t have a lot of that free time stuff anymore, so making time for pasta sauce is a rare commodity.

This is how I make my sauce. Feel free to substitute spices to your liking.

First, wash and boil the tomatoes until the skins begin to split. Remove them from the water and let sit for a minute or two. Be careful as you proceed onto the next step as they are hot!

on to the second batch

I have this great contraption that hooks on to my mixer. I call it the pulp extractor! Carefully load the bowl with boiled tomatoes and let the mixer do its thing. You don’t want any skin or seeds getting into the sauce. Once the paddle squishes enough of the tomato pulp out, discard the seeds and skin.

pasta-sauce-almost

Proceed with the rest of the tomatoes until you have a pot of lovely tomato liquid, like the picture above. Simmer the pot on low heat and begin to season the sauce.

pasta-sauce-ingredients

pasta-sauce-seasoned

I have a pretty hefty pot of tomato juice here so I didn’t measure the seasonings. You can season to taste as you go. This is what I added: oregano, thyme, bay leaf, garlic powder, parsley, onion powder, basil, sugar, salt and pepper. A squirt of my secret ingredient – ketchup, and a small can of tomato paste.

pasta-sauce-cooking

Once you have the flavor you are looking for, now is the time for patience. Patience is something I lack these days. I have to get this off my chest and admit this to you. I’m keeping it real. Sorry.

Cook the sauce for no less than an hour. More if possible. The object is to cook out as much moisture as possible leaving nothing but thick, flavorful, mouth watering, pasta sauce.

pasta-sauce-finished

Can you see the difference in color here? The sauce is starting to darken up and it’s also getting thicker. Remove the bay leaves and continue to simmer away.

This my friends is how I make my pasta sauce using the abundant crop of tomatoes in my garden.

How do you like to make pasta sauce? What secret ingredients do you add?

I promise to keep them secret.

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