Another way I’ve been wasting time this summer

It is farmers' market season.
There's all sorts of lovely stuff to be had on Saturdays downtown.
In between dealing with sizable piles of peaches and plums, I've been getting lots and lots of tomatoes.

And  here's how I've been dealing with all the cheap heritage tomatoes:
It's the

Super Easy Summer Tomato Sauce

Basically, that's the tomato sauce in the picture above — it's a very simple recipe: eight or nine good tomatoes, some basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
First you dice the tomatoes, getting rid of any nasty spots, and making sure the tomato skin hunks are less than an inch square.
This is because you are cheating.
Properly you should have blanched the tomatoes, and peeled and seeded them, but life is too short to go around worrying about tomato skin — if you just make sure the hunks are small it really doesn't matter.
You'll also want about twenty fair-sized basil leaves, sliced into thin strips, so you might as well take care of that at the same time, and also some amount of garlic finely minced (I garlic-press it, but if you like to mince garlic with a knife, that works too.)
The tomatoes and basil will look like this:

So now you want a good heavy frying pan.
Add a really good-sized dollop of olive oil — I tend to be pretty generous here, and add maybe a quarter cup — but you can use your own judgement and go a lot lighter.
Now you are going to let the sauce cook down at a sort of high-medium heat until it starts looking like spaghetti sauce instead of a bunch of tomatoes.
This is a good time to put on a big pot of water for pasta, and maybe start getting a salad ready.
It will look like this as it cooks down:

 

When it looks like the last picture, it is time to add anywhere from 3 to 7 cloves of garlic, minced.
I tend to end up very vampire-safe, but this is another place to adapt the recipe to your own tastes.
I also salt it lightly and pepper it heavily — pepper and tomatoes are lovely together.

After you mix in the garlic and pepper, you can let the sauce wait a while if you aren't going to need it for a while.
Or if you plan to eat soon, you'll need to add the pasta to that hot water you started in order to have everything ready at once.
Then, right before serving, you add the basil you prepared earlier:

When you stir in the basil, the heat of the sauce will cook it quickly, perhaps two or three minutes.
Then it's done.
.

I tend to serve this over whole wheat spaghetti, but that's just how Berkeley I am.
This lot made sufficient, but not excessive, sauce for four people.
The whole thing is really easy, it takes maybe an hour altogether, and is altogether yummy.

Read and post comments |
Send to a friend

Advertisements

25 responses to this post.

  1. Here's my problem:
    I'm not a pasta person (though I'm half-Italian), I hate tomatoes (unfortunate, because Dad is harvesting his tomatoes and I can't accept any of them!), but I like tomato sauce – good, thick sauce; savory – not too sweet.
    To me, that final picture looks like a beautiful meal all by itself.
    (are you a vegetarian, or just prefer to keep the meat out of the sauce?)

    Reply

  2. It's actually really good just by itself.I think I finished off the last of that batch on a piece of bread.Or it would be good with polenta too.I'm still an omnivore, but my kid stopped eating meat about eight years ago, and her dad doesn't eat much meat.Sometimes I have this on pasta, and also grill some fish on the side.I suspect you could make this a meat sauce by starting off with either hamburger, or chopped meat sauted in the olive oil, and then just carry on with the rest of it.I'd try it, but no one else around here would have any…wait, is that a problem?

    Reply

  3. Sounds totally delish, and the best part is, we get all the ingredients here too. I find the addition of the basil curious, though, since it's a holy plant here and used mostly only for dishes used in religious services. But it's also commonly used to make tea to cure a cold. Yum yum.

    Reply

  4. That looks so yummy! You can't beat homemade mater sauce! And between the two of us, we could prolly chase Dracula down an alley. I love garlic! I need to get a press, but another quick way is to smoosh the clove with the flat side of the knife before you chop. All SEVEN or EIGHT! 😀

    Reply

  5. You have a gorgeous kitchen.Great way to share your recipe.This post should get tigged or whatsitcalled when Vox features a post.I could eat this for breakfast, lunch & dinner & midnight snack. Looks sooo delicious.

    Reply

  6. Thanks for the recipe! I'll be over for dinner around 7 tonight, ok? 🙂

    Reply

  7. aubs, please have Dad send his unwanted by you tomatoes my way. delivery via puddinpult is ok. I don't mind if the tomatoes come pre-smashed.lauo, great recipe and instructions. I really like how mixing the red and yellow tomatoes ends up with that gorgeous orange color.suga', that's interesting. Thai restaurants in my area usually feature "holy basil" (Ocimum sanctum) which is sweeter and more purplish in color than the basil shown in lauo's recipe (Ocimum basilicum). acording to teh wiki there are even more cultivars of basil than this two and they are both used in cooking; since the flavors vary somewhat is a good idea to specify what kind of basil is called for.

    Reply

  8. Thanks, for the information, Mariser! The variety I was talking about is tulsi, ocimum tenuiflorum. Ocimum sanctum is much larger.
    This is how many Indians (including my family) plant tulsi in their homes.

    Reply

  9. Oh this is awesome! I really want to try this!!

    Reply

  10. My parents grow thai basil, it's just gorgeous and SO flavorful.

    Reply

  11. Berkeley Horticultural offers lots of different kinds of basils, though I always get the same one.I think I've seen them have Holy Basil, but i didn't try it since i didn't know what to do with it.And since basil in general is difficult because the snails like it so much.Now I know to plant it by the front door and not among the herbs, if only I can figure out how to baffle the snails.(Though the possums seem to have cut down the snail population dramatically this year. Which I do appreciate. But makes it even harder to like them, thinking of them eating snails.)

    Reply

  12. Well, I'm still a firm believer in the blanching and peeling, but cheers to tomato season!

    Reply

  13. once I learned how simple it is to blanch/peel tomatoes, I became a convert.-put your tomatoes in a heat-resistant bowl-put the teakettle on; once water is to boiling pour over the tomatoes to cover-brew a cup/mug of tea with the remaining water in the kettle-when your tea is brewed, drain the hot water from the tomatoes and cover them with cold water-take a few sips from your tea-drain the tomatoes and rub the peel off with your fingers-done!and !yay! !yay! !yay! for tomato season

    Reply

  14. And, how can you call this a, "waste" of time? ;-)Every time I see this post I can smell it. Powerful!

    Reply

  15. I'll give it a try again — I'd been doing them one at a time, and that was tedious.But any method that includes a cup of tea works for me.

    Reply

  16. One year we had an excess of tomatoes in our back yard.I mean, more tomatoes than anyone would have expected.I didn't chop, peel, blanch, or anything.Just stuffed 'em all in pots on the stove, on low, and smooshed 'em down as they cooked. Then ran the mush through the blender (don't have a food processor) and froze it up in meal-sized portions.We ate that sauce all fall and half the winter, with additions of garlic and basil a'plenty.I can't eat maters at all now. I think that's connected.

    Reply

  17. OMG! That looks soooooooo good!!!! Your photos are beautiful. There's such a huge difference in real vine-ripened tomatoes over the tasteless ones you get in the grocery store.
    You should have your own cooking show. You're making me want to cook now.

    Reply

  18. Oh yeah this looks SO great!!! And, even more so because I have a zillion wonderful tamaters ripening as we speak!!! I can't wait to make this!!!Last year I learned to simply place my extra tomatoes right in the freezer. Just stick the whole tomato in there. Once frozen you get them out as you need them, and as they just start to thaw the peels FALL right off! It's awesome.Thanks for this post!!!

    Reply

  19. Ooh, yum.

    Reply

  20. I have got to try that.Do you need to wrap them up too, or is it just tamaters on the shelf?

    Reply

  21. My favorite way to eat tomatoes is sliced on a white bread sandwich with a little mayo and salt and pepper. So refreshing.

    Reply

  22. I did it both ways. I had a huge bowl with the tomatoes just sitting in it, frozen and in another I wrapped each tomato in a piece of newspaper. Either way the tomatoes were great, so why bother with the newspaper?Hmmm, one thing that might make a difference is, I don't have a frostfree freezer. I have the good old fashioned kind that doesn't dry stuff up.If you do, you might need to stick the tomatoes in a freezer bag.

    Reply

  23. Mmmm, I'll have to try this out sometime! looks delicious.

    Reply

  24. lauo, this is cruel! i'm sitting at my desk drooling my keyboard. ack!

    Reply

  25. I made the tomato sauce this week! YUM!!!! I loved it! My family loved it! On whole wheat angel hair pasta! Suuhlurp!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: