When all those ripe, red summer tomatoes start to overtake the counter, I pull out my biggest saucepan and get to work on a big batch of fresh tomato sauce. Because this sauce freezes so well, you can enjoy the essence of summer’s flavors long after the last tomato plant has withered— insurance of the seasonal kind
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Rinse the tomatoes in cold water. With a paring knife, cut an X into the bottom of each tomato. (This will make it easier to peel the tomatoes once they’re blanched.) Carefully lower about 10 tomatoes into the boiling water and leave them for 20 to 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to move them to a large bowl filled with ice water. Continue blanching the tomatoes in batches and transferring them to the ice water.
Use a paring knife and your fingers to remove the skin from the tomatoes—it should peel off easily. Cut the tomatoes lengthwise into quarters, core, and remove the seeds. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and transfer them to a bowl.
Heat the oil and the garlic in a 5- to 6-quart heavy-duty pot over medium-low heat until the garlic begins to sizzle and very lightly browns, 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully pour in the tomatoes. Raise the heat to medium high and bring the tomatoes to a boil. Stir in the salt, reduce the heat to medium, and let the sauce simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened, about 1 hour. Remove from the heat and discard the garlic.
Make Ahead Tips
An easy dinner is guaranteed when you have a container’s worth of this simple tomato sauce on hand. Here’s how to keep it tasting great:
• Let cool and then transfer to an airtight container.
• Keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.
• Stash in the freezer for up to three months.
nutrition information (per serving):
per 1/2 cup;
Photo: Scott Phillips